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Full text of "The little flowers of St. Francis of Assisi [microform]"

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THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 
S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



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date 1504. 



PREFACE 

THifV»«/«-,or "Little Flowers," i, not . biogmphy 

descnbes it the fairest and choicest /loniirs of the 
Wi,''^' °^S. Francis and his com^alns 
For th s r«3o„ ,t begins at a comparatively late 
period m the life of the Saint. ^ 

«f Zt 1° "°^ here propose to discuss the researches 
the^^"S T *'";.''"8'" °^ 'he Utin text of 
h.» iT '/ ■" ?'''"' T""^ fr"" ''hich they 
m« 1^1. T?*' °' *'*' «""« »° "hich they 
may be remrded as authentic. Though much 
d«|cu«ri, 3,«e problems have never bSn «tis. 
Actonly «rttled. and here we can do no m^^ 
than briefly notice them. 
The originality of the Italian text of the Fiore/ii 

.?1."!Im ''"" •'•""^ '•y ">« "'-l editor, of 
those golden pages. Charmed by the simplicity 

fl^fj^ / 'f^h they paid no heed to the 
fact that towards the end of the sev-nte,^nth 
cent^n^ Wadding -a learned EngthS 
c»oui--d.scovered amongst the archives of the 
Order a ^/<.nr/«« which Ee held to be the Latin 
K«r<» of the FUreui The ..me in^dl^ ^ 
gjwted Ireneo A«B when he pointed to sevetj 
d-pter. of the ar«,Me. of rxXlV cS 



f-^ 



vi PREFACE 

of ihi Order, which had been faithfully trans- 
lated and included in the Italian selection of 
the Fioretti. The honour of pointing the way 
to a solution of the question belongs to the 
Florentine "Accademia della Crusca," which body, 
in the fifth impression of its Vocabolario, first 
issued in 1843, claimed that a portion of the 
Confirmitates Sancti Francisci of Brother Barto- 
lommeo degli Albizzi, presented to the Chapter 
General of the Order in 1399, was the Latin 
source of tk-: Fioretti. As a matter of fact this 
was an error, for there certainly existed Fioretti 
manuscripts previous to that date. A few years 
later, however, Barbieri, in his edition of the 
Franciscan work, pointed out a new source of 
the Fioretti in the Speculum vihe S. Francisci et 
sociorum ejus — and recently, after a patient and 
methodical examination of the manuscripts of the 
Irish College of S. Isiodor, Edoardo Alvisi re- 
discovered the text mentioned by Wadding, the 
Acms S. Francisci et sociorum ejus, which he im- 
mediately identified as the Latin text of the 
Italian Fioretti. According to Giuseppe Stadenni, 
however, the rictus cannot possibly be the im- 
mediate so ires of the Italian work, but both 
the one and the other are in all probability de- 
rived from a still older and unknown source. In 
short, much remains either entirely unknown or 
else disputed — and indeed must remain so until a 
thorough comjparative study has been made of the 
manuscripts of the Jctus and the Fioretti, some of 
which exhibit numerous and important variants. 
Meanwhile, however, the long labours of the 



PREFACE vii 

critics have made it clear that the Ftoretn were 
originally written in Latin, that part of this 
Latin original is found in the Actus, and that 
the Italian translator must have abridged his 
version from a much larger work. We can now 
only believe and hope that the ceaseless researches 
of students of Franciscan matters will some day 
succeed in discovering the much desired manu- 
script whence both the Actus and the Fioretti take 
their immediate source. 

Even less is known concerning the author of the 
Floretum. It would appear that Brother Ugolino 
di Monte Santa Maria most certainly had a hand 
in compiling the work, but it is impossible to 
decide whether his co-operation was limited to the 
chapters dealing with the life of Brother Giovanni 
della Verna, and indirectly to the compiling of the 
dhapter De invenlione Montis Alvemx, as Dr. Stade- 
rini believes, or whether, as Sabatier conjectures, 
he was partly author and partly a mere compiler 
of the book, making use of older documents in 
all matters concerning the earliest companions 
of S. Francis. Scholars have discovered nothing 
decisive as to the translator of the Fioretti into 
Italian, hut they suppose that he was a Brother 
Minor of the fourteenth century, a Tuscan, and 
that his work is an almost literal rendering into 
his own tongue of the Franciscan records col- 
lected by the friar of Monte San Giorgio. 

While we neither desire nor intend to discuss 
the opinions cf scholars, a brief expresaon of our 
own views is permissible. To our thinking, the 
question of the ancient source of the Floretum, 



r-jy^ 



viii 



PREFACE 



whether derived from this or that minuscript or 
author, IS a matter of secondary importance. In 
any case the Fioremm is not the composition of 
any smgle author, but rather the work of an 
entire people. It is a collection of the legends 
and traditions relating to the Saint of Assisi 
and hi, best-loved and more prominent com- 
panions: these gradually increased in number 
and were written down by one or more of 
the brethren for the greater glory of their 
seraphic founder and the edification of the world 
m general. This, in our opinion, is the reason 
why the contents of the Ficretti differ in so 
many and important respects from those ancient 
biographies oi the Saint, of which the principal 
and most famous are the Legenda and MemoriaU 
of Brother Thomas of Celano, the Legtnda Trium 

Kuffino— and the biography written by S. Bona- 
vcnrurii. 

As is well known, the Legenda, or First Life of 
b. Francis, was compiled by Brother Thomas of 
l^lano at the express command of Pope Greeorv 
IX m the years 1218 and 1229, and the sTcond 
Lxjt, or, more properly, the MemoriaU, towards 
• 147. m consequence of a decision of the Chapter 
Gen«jal.of the Order, which in 1 244 entrusted the 
recording of the most memorable deeds and words 
° n,n^ r' '° **•' u"" "'^ Celano, as the one who 
more than any other should be acquainted with 

LZU /"''/[•'"' '°""'"' conversation, and 
intimate friendship, with the Saint." In these 
writings of Thomas of Celano we may recogni«' 



PREFACE i, 

» to speak, the official biographical notices of S. 
Francis. In his recent study— S. Francis ofAssisi 
and his Legend, Professor Nino Tamassia, of the 
University of Padua, carefully examines the sources 
of Thomas of Celano's two Lives, with the two- 
told intention "of pointing out the literary remi- 
niscences which they evidently contain, and of 
invest^ating their source." We learn, thus, that 
if S. Francis had not in his youth led a life of 
folly and vanity, Brother Thomas would never have 
recalled to mind the conversion of S. Augustine 
He points out how, in the description of the death 
and apparition of the Saint— couched almost in the 
exact words of Sulpicius Severus— Thomas slips 
into the biography of S. Martin, because the latter 
appears to Sulpicius " borne upon a white cloud," 
for the sole purpose of rewarding him for his 
labours m writing his life. And, finally, he de- 
clares that the acquaintance shown by Thomas of 
Celano with the works of Gregory the Great, 
explains many an enigma in the life and perhaps 
also m the Rule of the Franciscan Order, because 
the atmosphere saturated with dogmatical and theo- 
logical literature of which Thomas is the principal 
representative, is the same wherein was developed 
the activity of the Saint of Assisi. 

AH this certainly proves that the biographer 
had an excellent memory for what he had read • it 
also enables us to say precisely which legendary 
or biographical elements in the Ugenda and the 
MemonaU survive from earlier theological and 
ascetic works. It will not suffice— unless we are 
much mistaken— to destroy all faith in the narra- 



rf 



X PREFACE 

tive of Thomas of CeUno. To try the Middle 
Ages by the rules of modern literary copyright 
would seem sufficiently strange, but to speak 
of plagiarism— even "elegant plagiarism "—in 
connection with Brother Thomas is certainly ab- 
surd. Those who are familiar with the works of 
the ancients know the views and the rules, which 
they held and followed, and how, when necessary, 
they simply appropriated not only the thoughts and 
ideas of other writers, but frequently even the very 
words or sentences in which these ideas were ex- 
pressed. Not only did the writers of the Middle 
Ages draw largely from whatever they deemed the 
fullest and the most useful sources for their pur- 
pose, helping themselves with impunity and with- 
out any repcich of plagiarism, but in so doing 
they exercised more than a right — they pr- 
formed the recognised duty of a precise and faithful 
narrator. The use of traditional forms and con- 
ceptions was not a practice to be condemned ; it 
was, on the contrary, an absolute necessity for the 
purpose of impressing with the sump of truth 
whatever was to be presented to the mind or 
imagination of the reader. S. Augustine has a 
passage to this effect in one of his works. 

The legend, on the other hand, as Ildebrando 
dcUa Giovanna observes in his study on S. Francis 
of Assisi,- " is a plant which springs up and grows 
vigorously in every field fertilised by popular senti- 
ment and imwination ; it is a spontaneous growth." 
The life of S. Francis, which was spent amongst 
the most sincere and lively manifestations of love 
and feeling at a time when society was torn by 



PREFACE jd 

great and unquenchable hatreds — hatreds which 
the Church of Christ never dreamed of pacifying, 
but rather did its best to keep alive — naturally 
o£fered a soil well prepared for the recep 3n and 
subsequent abundant flowering of the ieed of 
legend. And it is precisely in the light of 
popular legends that we see the figure of the Saint 
in its most lifelike and truest presentment: 
legends grew up around him so luxuriantly that 
— again to quote Delia Giovanna — " every biog- 
rapher may find new material not previously used 
by others." 

For this reason we are of'en tempted to feel that 
the researches of erudite students of Franciscan 
lore and legend — learned, patient, and subtle — 
are wearisome and not always profitable labours, 
only serving to change and deform the funda- 
mental lines of the figure of the Saint of Assisi. 
Assuredly, the living, speaking S. Francis, working 
in a fervour of love and pity ; .I'ongst the ecstatic 
crowds, now submissive and reverent, now mock- 
ing and rebellious, must have been, for those who 
saw and knew him well, a very different man from 
the S. Francis of the biographers : we may with 
some confidence assert that he must have difFered 
even more widely from the Saint who appears in 
the writings «f certain of the more modem of 
these. 

Even if we take the Life of S. Francis, written by 
one of our most noted and indefatigable scholars, 
Paul Sabatier, we feel that however excellent and 
useful it may be as a piece of historical investiga- 
tion, and though many nc* and indisputable facts 



Xll 



PREFACE 



ri 



•re/or the fine time brought fonwd >nd given 
their due place in the &iint% biography, the light 
th.own upon the figure of Brother Francis But 
serves the more sharply to outline it before ui 
without rendenng it either more lifelike or more 
mspinng. There is assuredly something lacking 
in this reconstruction of the Saint's carc-^r, and thS 
something that we miss is the faint, elusive per- 
fume of his soul— if we may so describe it— his inti- 
mate, intangible, indescribable charm. "Monsieur 
Salatier, says Giulio Salvadori, "in one passage 
of his book recalls to mind the cyclamen Wm?*- 
mcntbbtlm^t the foot of the great firs on Monte 
la Verna, but he has failed to notice the little 
mountain pinks that spread their sweet scent 
upon the hillside whereon S. Francis received the 
stigmata. His work fails to give us what we can 
on the contraiy, obtain from tradition and legend' 
the profound and delicate beauty which clothes the 
peraonahty of the Poor Man of Assisi. 

As we have already remarked, the FiorelH of S 
trancis possesses but a restricted value if regarded 
from the biographical point of view. It lacks a 
certam and consistent historical foundation and 
the anonymous :ompiler, if there was only one 
obtained his k- owledge of facts less from reliable 
written documents than from the oral traditions 
which are even to this day preserved unspoilt in the 
convents of Umbria and Tuscany. He gathered 
them, we may suppose, from the very people 
through whose midst the Saint and his fervent com- 
panions passed upon their way, filling them with 
marvel at their life of simplicity and their words 



PREFACE ^ 

buminK with love and charity. A splendid 
example, truly, must these friars have shewn, as 
they preached amidst th<! dreadful clamour of 
war, the greed and suspicion of rulers, the horrors 
of fraternal discord, ruin, fire, sack, and starvation 
their dmre message of justice and of peace. At 
this time, moreover, heresy was rampant on all 
sides, disturbing men's consciences and threatenine 
with overthrow the Church of Christ, already torn 
with internal strife and corrupted by simony and 
the evil p^ctices of the clergy, which neither the 
power of Papal reformers r.or the isolated efforts 
of individua preachers could succeed in overcom- 
ing or restraining. 

But however poor in historical foundation thev 
may be, it is certain that in the Florenim and its 
translations we see the figures of the Saint and his 
friar? as vividly as did tfie people of Umbria and 
Tuscany, who actually beheW and loved him • 
we see him, moreover, still rurrounded with that 
glory with which their eyes invested hi.-n. Better 
than any critical reconstruction, better than any 
biography, old or new, the Franciscan legend con- 
tained in the Floretum gives us a faithful picture of 

fJcT^'^v M^T"*"/."' '° '•"= green Umbrian 
and to the Marches ofAncona, or to stony Monte 
la Verna betwixt Tiber and Arno, wherever 
indeed, the Samt lived, passed, preached, hoped 
and prayed, bringing back to our ears the cl«r 
echo of his words, showing us his habitations in the 

ha fTuiu k'?^''''-''^,."' *° '^"^ '" the life, 
half childlike, half angelic, of those who dwelt 



fi' 



#■ 



K%^ 



XXV PREFACE 

Wherein, then, lies the power and charm of 
the Flcritum if not in the fact that it repreients 
the everg.een legend of the Poverelk and his 
humble followers as it lived in the minds and 
hearts, in the simple but fertile imagination, of 
the people whose joys and sorrows, whose hopes 
and needs he shared, the people who saw the 
saint living and working in those places which 
formed the field of his activity, and to whom 
he attributed his own passions and feelings. For 
this reason the Fioreiti is incomparably more valu- 
able in our eyes than all the hagiographies ever 
written ; for on the figures of S. Francis and his 
chief companions — Fra Matteo, Fra Egidio, Fni 
Ginepro, or Fra Lupo — as portrayed in this col- 
lection of legends and narrations, sometimes child- 
like and sometimes miraculous, the popular verdict 
has conferred an historical reality perhaps more 
convincing and more near to the truth than all the 
well-known Lives of the Saint, or all the recon- 
structions and researches of critics and scholars. 

The secret of the great success of the Fioreiti, 
the secret of the singular fascination exercised by 
these old pages, which even now, after so many 
centuries, speak straight to the heart and mind 
of the reader, lies precisely in the mystery of their 
composition, which can be compared with that of 
no other literary work. Here we find ourselves 
face to face with a spontaneous and popular pro- 
duction, which has preserved only those elements 
in the £«int's life that accorded with the popular 
faith, credulity and conscience. The book of 
the Fioretti is not a literary work ; it is folk-lore. 



PREFACE „ 

and represents the hagiographic saga— that is to 
s»y. It represents what was said and felt about 
S. Francis in his own country by the people who 
preserved the traditions of his heroic and saintly 
life and deeds. 

To criticise such productions of an entire people 
and an entire age— productions which breathe pure 
and simple poetry— as though they were the inven- 
tions of a single brain ; to treat them as if they 
were a genuine literary work, to strip the legend 
of all that IS most attractive, is surely both useless 
and cruel. It is useless, because in spite of all 
criticism the legend will ever awaken a response 
in the hearts of all who can feel and love, because 
the affections instinctively cling to these saintly 
dream-figifres which have about them nothing of 
human reality. It is cruel, because criticism, with 
Its cold inquiries and revelations, has no right to 
rob poetry of its charm, faith and credulity of their 
comfort. 

Scholars may apply their pruning-knives to the 
id«l figure of the Saint as he appears, full of life 
and of love, in the simple pages of the Fieretti. But 
the golden book which was born in the green 
Umbnan hills, and has passed from Latin, through 
Itaiun, into other tongues without suffering any 
loss of its grace and charm, will continue to be 
read in spite of critics, and will make the hearts of 
itt readers beat faster so long as they are capable 
of feeling aught that is tender and true. In this 
popular and mystical legend, S. Francis, encircled 
with a halo of love and charity, and ihining with 



xvi PREFACE 

a pure glory which no cloud of criticism is able to 
dim, appears like a knight of the San Graal in 
the immortal legend of the north. 

For the purpose of increasing the value of 
this new edition of the Fiontti, we have reproduced 
for the first time certain of the quaint illustrations 
relating to events i,i the life of the Saint of Assisi 
contained in Codke Laurenziano Gaddiam CXIl— 
a parchment manuscript belonging to the second 
half of the fourteenth century, described by Bandini 
in his catalogue of the Laurentian Library (Flor- 
ence, 1792; Supplem. col. 124). 

This manuscript belonged to a convent of Fran- 
ciscan nuns, called the Convent of Foligno, which 
to this day exists in Florence in the Via Faenza. 
As is the case with most old manuscripts, the 
names, both of the scribe and of the artist who 
furnished the illustrations, are unknown; the writ- 
ing is undoubtedly by a fourteenth-century hand, 
and to the same period belong also the ornamen- 
tation of the initial letters in blue and red, and 
the drawings, many of which are mere sepia out- 
lines, others being more or less fully coloured. 
The latter part of the manuscript was finished in 
1427, according to the inscription at the end. This 
note, however, which brings us forward a score of 
years into the fifteenth century, has no bearing 
whatever on the palaeographic and artistic character 
of either writing or drawings. These are as strictly 
of the preceding century, as is our own handwr\- 
ing of that nineteenth century in which we were 



PREFACE xvii 

educated. Quaint and crude as they are, these 
drawings have, in their very simplicity, a charm 
and " power of persuasion " that many will find un- 
surpassed by even the very masterpieces of Giotto 
himself. 

GUIDO BIAGI. 



BiBLIOTECA LaUKEHZIANA, 

r'lOKENCK, March 1908. 



r1f 



V t 



I 

■I! 



I 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



CHAT. 

I. In the name of onr Lord Jesu Chri.t the Cnicified 
and of H,s Virgin Mother Mary. In thi, book 
are found certain little Floweri, Miimdei and 
devout eniample. of the glorious poor little one 
of Chn.t, S. Francis, and of certain his hoir 
Companions, to the praise of Jesu Christ An,.n 
II. Of Brother Bernard "of QuinUvalle fim c^ 
panion of S.Francis . 

III. How for an evil thought that S. Francis had arainsi 

Brother Bernard, he bade the said Brother 
Bemud tread three times with his feet upon his 
mouth and on his throat 

IV. How the angel of God proposed a question' untti 

Brother Elias, guardian of a House in the vallev 
of Spoleto, and because Brother Elias ans>™red 
him proudly, departed and went along the road 
to S. James's, where he (bund Hrothtr Bernard 
and told him this story 

V. How the holy Brother Bernard of Assisi was sent 

by S. Francis to Bologna and there founded a 

House 

VI. How S. Francis blessed the holy Brother Bemanl 
and left him as hii vicar, when he came to pass 

away from this life ^^ 

VII. How S. Francis passed a Lent in an ishnd in the 
Lake of Perugia, where he hited forty days and 

,nii ti"^ "'*''"' ""* *" °° ""'" """ °»« half loaf 

VIll. How, as S. Francis and Brother Leo were going 

by the way, he set forth unto him what thinirs 

were perfect joy , 

IX. How S. Francis uught Brother Leo how to answer 



XX 



CONTENTS 



ri 



iir' 



CHAP. PACI 

him ; and how he could never say aught save 
the contrary of what S. Francis wished . 36 

X. How Brother Masseo, as though mocking, said 
unto S. Francis that all the world came after 
him : and he replied that this was for the con- 
fasioQ of the world and the grace of God . 29 

XI. How S. Francis made Brother Masseo turn round 
and round several times, and then went to 

Siena 30 

XII. How S. Francis laid on Brother Masseo the 
o hce of the door, of alms-giving, and of the 
kiichen : then at the prayers of the brothers set 
him free of them 33 

XIII. How S. Francis and Brother Masseo set the 

bread that they had begged upon a stone hard 
by a fountain, and how S. Francis praised poverty 
exceedingly. Then besought God and S. Peter 
and S. Paul that He would set in his heart the 
love of holy poverty, and how S. Peter and S. 
Paul appeared unto him 35 

XIV. How, as S. Francis and his brothers were dis- 

coursing of God, He appeared in the midst of 

them 39 

XV. How S. Clare ate with S. Francis and the 
brothers, his companions, in S. Mary of the 

Angels 40 

XVI. How S. Francis received the counsel of S. Clare 
and of the holy Brother Silvester, that it behoved 
him by preaching to convert much people ; and 
how he founded the third Order, and preached 
unto the birds, and made the swallowi hold 

their peace 43 

XVII. How a little boy-brother, while S. Francis was 
praying in the night, saw Christ and the Virgin 
Mary and many other saints hold converse with 

him 4f> 

XVIII. Of the marvellous Chapter that S. Francis held 
at S. Mary of the Angels, whereat were more 
than five thousand brothers .... 50 



' f ■ 

i' 
lit 



I? 



. \i 



CONTENTS 



XXII. 
XXIII. 



XXIV. 

xxv. 



XXVII. 

XXVIII. 
XXIX. 



. How the vineyard of the priest of Rieti, in 
whose house S. Francis piayed, was robbed 
and despoiled of its grapes by the much 
folk that came to him ; and then miraculously 
yielded ...ore wine than ever before, even as 
S. Francis had promised him. .And how God 
revealed unto S. Francis that at his death 
he should inherit Paradise . . .55 

Of a vision wondrous fair, seen by a younj; 
brother, the which did hold the cowl in such 
hate that he minded to put off the habit and 

leave the Order eg 

Of the most holy miracle that S, Francis wrought 

when he converted the fierce wolf of Agobio 60 
How S. Francis tamed the wild turtle-doves . 65 
How S. Francis delivered the brother that was 

in sin with the devil (^ 

How S. Francis won over to the faith the 

Soldan of Babylon .67 

How S. Francis miraculously he..led one that 
was a leper both in soul and body i and what 
the soul said to him, as it went up into 

heaven -^ 

How S. Francis converted three robbers that 
were murderers and made brothers of them ; 
and of the most noble vision that was seen 
by one of them, the which was a most holy 

brother -. 

How S. Francis converted in Bologna two 
scholars, who became brothers ; and how 
thereafter he delivered one of them from a 

sore temptation g. 

Of an ecstasy that came to Brother Bernard ; 
whereby he abode from riioraing until Nones, 
so that of himself he was not waie ... 86 
How the devil appeared many times unto 
Brother Rutfino in the form of the Crucified, 
telling him that all the good he did was lost, 
since he was not among those elect to life 



r. 



ft 



:. If 



>i4 



f> 



,11 '"■ 



'J; t 



xjtii CONTENTS 

'""• , »« 

titnaX. Whereof S. Francii wu ware 
through rerelation from God, and made 
Brother Ruffino to know his error in lending 

credence thereto gg 

XXX. Of the beautiful sermon preached in Assisi 

by S. Francis and Brother Ruffino 93 

XXXI. How S. Francis knew the secrets of the con- 
sciences of all his brothers in order . 95 
XXXII. How Brother Masseo obtained of Christ the 

virtue of til humility 97 

XXXIM. How S. Clare, at the bidding of the Pope, 
blessed the bread that was on the table : so 
that on every loaf appeared the sign of the 

holy Cross gg 

XXXIV. HowS. Louis, King of France, went in person, 
in the guise of a pilgrim, to Perugia, for to 
visit the holy Brother Giles .... 100 
XXXV. How S. Clare, being sick, was miraculously 
carried, on the night of Christn. , Eve, to 
the church of S. Francis and there heard 

the office 

XXXVI. How S. Francis set forth unto Brother Leo 

a &ir dream that he had seen 
XXXVII. How Jesu Christ, the blessed One, at the 
prayer of S. Francis, let convert a rich and 
gentle knight and become a brother, the 
which had shown great honour and liberality 

unto S. Francis ipj 

XXXVIII. How S. Francis knew in spirit that Brother 
Elias was damned, and would die outside 
the Order; wherefore at the supplication of 
Brother Elias, he prayed to Christ for him, 
rn& his prayer was heard .... 108 
XXXIX. Of the marvellous sennon that the Brother 
Minor, S. Antony of Padua, preached in 

the Consistory * . it t 

XL. Of the miracle which God wrought when S. 
Antony, being at Rimini, preached to the 
fishes of the sea ,,2 



102 
104 



ill'' ... 

f * 

v" 

I.. 



CHU, 

XLI. 



CONTENTS J 

How the venemble Brother Simon delivered 
from a grievous temptation a brother, that 
wished on this accomit to leave the Order 

Of the fair miracles that God wrought by 
the hands of the holy brothers, Brother 
Bentivoglia, Brother Peter of Monticello, and 
Brother Conrad of Ofiida : and how Brother 
Bentivoglia carried a leper fifteen miles in 
a very brief space; and how S. Michael spake 
unto the other, and the Virgin Mary came 
unto the third and laid her Son in his 



XLV. 
XLVI. 



XLVIII. 



XLIX. 

L. 



"5 



119 



XLI 1 1. How Brother Conrad of Ofiida converted a 
young brother, that was troubling the other 
brethren. And how this young brother dying, 
appeared to the said Brother Conrad be- 
seeching him to pray for him ; and how 
by his prayers he set him free from the 
grievous pains of Purgatory .... 
XLIV. How there appeared unto Brother Conrad the 
Mother of Christ, S. John the Evangelist and 
S. Francis; and told him which of them 
had the greater grief for the Passion of 

Christ 

Of the conversion and life and miracles and 
death of the holy Brother John of La Penna . 
How Brother Peaceful being at prayer saw 
the soul of Brother Humble, his brother, going 

up to heaven 133 

Of the holy brother unto whom appeared the 

Mother of Christ, what time he was sick, 

bringing him three boxes of electuary 

How Brother Jacques of La Massa saw in a 

dream all the Brothers Minor in the world, 

in the likeness of a tree, and learned the virtue 

and the merits and the vices of each 

How Jesu Christ appeared unto Brother John 

ofAlvernia .... 

How Brother John of Alvemia,as he said Mass 



"5 
i>6 



34 



37 



CONTENTS 



I ill 



on All Souls' Day, saw many souli dalivend 

from Purgatory 147 

LI. Of the holy Brother Jacques of Fallenne ; and 
how after his death, he appeared unto Brother 

John of Alvemia 148 

LII. Of the vision of Brotncr John of Alvernia, 
whereby he understood all the order of the 
Holy Trinity , • ' S^ 

LIII. How Brother John of Alvemia, as he was saying 

Mass, fell down as one dead . • 1 53 



OF THE MOST HOLY STIGMATA OF S. FRANCIS 
AND REFLECTIONS THEREON 

Of the first reflection on the most holy Stigmata • i S9 

Of the second reflection on the most holy Stigmata . 168 

Of the third reflection on the most holy Stigmata . .178 
Of the fourth reflection on the most holy Stigman . . 189 
How Jerome touched and saw the most holy Stigmata of 

S. Francis, wherein at first he disbelieved . . , 305 
Of the day and of the year of the death of S. Francis . 305 

Of the canonisation of S. Francis 306 

Of the fif^h and last reflection on the most holy Stig- 
mata 206 

How a holy brother reading the legend of S. Francis 
in the Chapter on the most holy Stigmata and on 
the secret words, which the Seraph spake unM S. 
Francis when he appeared unto him, prayed to God 
so much that S. Francis revealed them unto him . 209 
How S. Frauds, being dead, appeared unto Brother John 

of Alvemia, as he was at prayer 313 . 

Of a holy brother that saw a wondrous vision of one of 

his companions that was dead 214 

How a noble knigh', devoted to S. Francis, was certified 

of the death and the holy Stigmata of S. Francis . 317 
How Pope Gregory IX., doubting of the Stigmata of S. 

Francis, was certified thereof 219 



.Vliii3 



CONTENTS 





IS9 




■68 




178 




189 


lOf 






305 




J05 




306 


dg- 






206 


icis 




on 




S. 




lod 






209 


.hn 






213 


of 






214 


led 






217 


S. 






219 



THE LIFE OF BROTHER JUNIPER 

'"i''ti n ,. . . "«" 

I. HOW Brother Juniper cut off the foot of a pig, 

merely to 4[ive it to a sick man . .221 

II. An iniunce of the great power of Brother Juniper 

over the devil ^21 

III. How, by the device of the devil. Brother Juniper 

was condemnet*. to the gibbet .226 

IV. How Brother Juniper gave to the poor whatsoever 

he could, for the love of God .230 

V. How Brother Juniper cut off certain bells from the 

altar and gave them away for the love of God . 231 
VI. How Brother Juniper kept silence for six months . 234 
VII. An example of how to resist the temptations of 

the flesh 2,e 

VIII. How Brother Juniper abased himself for the glorv 

ofGod 236 

IX. How Brother Juniper played see-saw to abase 

himself 2,_ 

X. How Brother Juniper once cooked a fortnight's 

food for the brethren .238 

XI. How Brother Juniper went on a time to Assist for 

his own confusion 240 

XII. How Brother Juniper was rapt in ecstasy while 

celebrating the Mass 241 

XIII. Of the sorrow that Brother Juniper felt at the death 

ofhis companion, Brother Amazialbene . . 242 

XIV. Of the hand that Brother Juniper saw in the air . 1.43 
XV. An example of Brother Leo, how S. Francis bade 

him wash the stone ...... 247 



THE LIFE OF THE BLESSED BROTHER GILES, 
THE COMPANION OF S. FRANCIS 

I. How Brother Giles and three companions were 

received into the Order of the Minors . .245 

I. How Brother Giles went to S. James the Great . 248 



CONTENTS 



ill 



III. After what fashion Brother Gile> led hii life whe> 

he went to the Holy Sepulchre .... 

IV. How Brother Giles praised obedience m* re than 

prayer 

V. How BrotherGiles lived by the labour of his hands 

VI. How Brother Giles was miraculously cared for in 

a time of great need, when by reason of the deep 

snow he could not go to beg alms 

VII. Of the day of the death of the holy Brother Giles 

VIII. Hew a holy man, being at prayer, saw the soul of 

Bt^t'.er Giles pass into life eternal 

IX. How by the merits of Brother Giles, the soul of a 

friend of a certain Preaching Brother was set 

free from the pains of Purgatory .... 

X. How God had given graces unto Brother Giles, 

and of the year of his death .... 



J50 
»5i 



'53 
156 



256 



158 



4 i 



THE CHAPTERS OF SUNDRY GOODLY S'^VINGS 
AND OF THE TEACHING OF BROTHER wlLES 

I. Of vices and virtues 359 

II. Of Faith 361 

lit. Of holy humility 263 

IV. Of the holy fear of God ..... a66 

V. Of holy patience 367 

VI. Ofslothfiilness 27a 

VII. Of contempt of the world 376 

VIII. Of holy chastity ^-7 

IX. Of temptations 371 

X. Of holy penitence 384 

XI. Of holy prayer 385 

XII. Of holy spiritual prudence 391 

XIII. Of profitable and unprofitable knowledge . . 293 

XIV. Of good and evil speaking 394 

XV. Of good perseverance 396 

XVI. Of the true religious life 397 

XVII. Of holy obedience 300 

XVIII. Of the i-emembiance of death .... 303 



CONTENTS 



FROM THE MANUSCRIPT IN THE BIBLIO- 
THECA ANGELICA 

CHAT. 

I. How tht glonous Francis got the Church of S. 
Maryof the Angels without Assisi • • 3 

II. How S. Francis had a vision in S. Mary of the 

Angels 

III. How God revealed unto S. Francis that he should 
go to Pope Honorius the Third for the in- 
dulgence joj 



307 



FROM A MANUSCRIPT IN FLORENCE 
L How S. Francis appeared unto Brother Leo . 313 
II. How Brother Leo saw a terrible vision in a dream 314 



THE FAREWELL OF S. FRANC!.' AT HIS PART- 

ING FROM THE MOUNT OF ALVERNIA . 316 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

COLOURED COLLOTYPE 

S. Francis m his Youth, threatened by his 
father for his theft of money with which to 
rebuild the Church of S. Damiano (ajltr 
tie early Umbrian Panel in Ike Church of 
S. Damiano near Auisi) . Frontispiece 



8 



COLOURED PLATES 

(T.) Brother Bmnard at Prayer in the 
Wood. (II.) S. Francis hears the Voice 
EROM God. (HI.) Brother Bernard 
tramples on S. Francis (after Codex 
Laurentiano Gaddiano cxii.; cf. Preface, 
AwO ' Tofaa 

The Men or Bologna mock Brother Ber- 
nard IN their Market-place (after 
Codtx Laurentiano Gaddiano exit. : cf. Pre- 
f<ue,p.vii) ,j 

S. Clare ahd her Companions eat Bread 
WITH S. Francis at Sta. Maria Deoli 
Anoeli (afier Codex laurentiano Gaddiano 
exit. : ef. Preface, f. oii) ^, 

S. Francis {irfler the painting on panel iy 
Gerard David in the Kaiter Friedrich 
Museum, Berlin) _ . 



XXX ILLUSTRATIONS 

Tot Cruciuxion, with SS. Fkahcis, Bene- '«" 

DicT, Anthony and Cure (o/fer the 
Umptm panel by Tibtrio i Assist in Ihi 
Lawer Church of S. Rranasa, Assist) To face 94 
S. Antony Preaches to the Fishes (a/fer 
Codex Laitnnziana Gaddiano cxii. ; cf. Pire- 

fact,p.mi) ,,5 

S. Francis with the Virgin Mary, Infant 
Jesus and S. John (after the fresco by 
Pietro Loremetti (?) in the Lower Church 
ofS. Francesco at Assisi) .... 
S. Francis receives the Siiomata {after tht 
fresco of the School of Giotto in the Lotver 
Church of S. Francesco at Assisi) 
The Marriaoe of S. Francis with the Lady 
Poverty (detail from the fresco by Giotto 
in the Lower C rch of S. Franasco at 
Assisi) 

S. Francis (<i/&r tht Umpera panel by Filip- 
pino Lippi, now in the National Gallery, 
London) 

The Obedience (after the fresco by Giotto 
in the Lower Church of S. Rrattctsco, 
Assisi) joo 

S. Francis Preaches before Pope Hono- 
RIU8 III. (after the fresco by Giotto (?) in 
the Upper Church ofS. Firancesco at Assisi) „ 309 



125 



■57 



169 



"3 



HALF-TONE PLATES 
Brother Bernard watches S. Francis at 
Pravir (from Historiarum SerapUcat 
Religionis Libri Tres, a F. Peiro Fodulphio 
Tossimanensi, Venice, 1586) 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



XXXI 



Thi First Five Companions of S. Francis 

(School of GnUt) .... xcfaa 

S. Francis Preaching to the Birds, and 
THE Vision op Pope Innocent III. 
(Jnm a Jcurttmtk century MS. oj Ihi 
Vulgate, Aid. MS 11843, >•< the BHHsk 
Museum) . . . , 

The Meeting op S. Francis and S. Domenic 
{B. Gottoli) ...... 

S. Francis and the Wolp of Gubbio (Sas- 
"tta) 

S. Francis before the Soldan (Sasselta) . 

S. Francis Preaching (fivm B.M. Royal 
MS. 19, B. xvii., Fol. 277 li.—La legende 
*' ^"" •'''"'■ luefmejehan de Viguay 
tramlttttt it Lalin en Francois: F.scriple 
fan 1382) 

S. Francis (Donalello) 

S. Antony op Padua (Donaltlh) 
The Virgin Mary appearing unto a Sick 
Brother Minor (after Codex Zauremiano 
Gaddiano exit. : cf. Preface, f. vii) . 
The Cell ih which Brother John or 
Alvernia lived on Monte Alvernia 
{from Discritione del Sacro Monte delta 
yemia.iy Lino Moroni (} i6ij). Plate I) 
S. Francis on His Death-bed (B. da Maiano) 
The Birds welcoming S. Francis to Monte 
Alvernia (from Discritione del Sacro 
Monle delta Vemia, iy Lino Moroni 
(? i6ia). Plate C) . 



»9 



47 

50 

61 
68 



84 
105 
III 

■35 



>4i 

•47 



167 



4.r"'^.^^'-^ '■ .r v;4a .r%M.c -^J 



^ ' i 



xxxit ILLUSTRATIONS 

Brother Leo kneeling before S. Francis *"^ 

IN Ecstasy {a/ter Codex Laurenxiano 
Gaddiano exit. : cf. Preface, p. vU) . To fact 173 

S. Francis assaulted by the Devil, oh 
Monte Alvsrnia {from Dtscrizione del 
Sacro Monte delta Vernia, by Lino Moroni 
(? 1613). Plate N) ,176 

The Marriage of S. Francis to Poverty 

{Sassetta) ,182 

This picture is sometimes held to represent the 
"Meeting of S. Francis with Obedience, Poverty 
uid Chastity." 

S. Francis receives the Stigmata {after 
Codex Laurenziano Gaddiano cxH. .■ p. vii^ 
Laurentian Library, Florence) . . . „ 189 

S. Francis receives the Stigmata (/. van 

£yci) ,197 

The Death of S. Francis (Sassetta) . „ 204 

S. Francis appears in a Dream to Pope 

Gregory ir. (<7/i>//<; (?) ) . . . „ 219 

S. Francis, with S. Bernard kneeling 

behind Him (Pra Angelico) . . . „ 346 

Brothers Giles and Illuminato {B. Gotwlt) „ 256 

Franciscan Friars chanting in the Choir 
(from B.M, Cotton, MS., Dom. xvii., Pol. 
120 b. — a Psalter probably illuminated for 
King Richard II.) » a88 

S. Francis appears to the Chapter at 

Arlks ( Giotto) ,1 298 

Four-o}lour engravings by Lowy of Vienna and G. W. 
Jones, Ltd., printed by H. Stone & Son, Ltd.: 
those facing pp. 8, 16, 43, 115, engraved and 
printed by E. Evaiu, Ltd. 



THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 
S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



CHAPTER I 

h th^am, of our Lord h,u Chrht the Crucifi.d, and of Hh 

htl/, Flowm, Mirackianddivoul ,.,^ampUofth.,hri- 
ouspoor huUon, ofChrht, S. frauds, and ojLtL hU 
holy Compamom, to the praiu of J em Chriit. Amen 
At the first, needs must we consider how the eiori- 
ous S Francis in all the acts of his life was con- 
f™-med unto Christ the blessed one: how even as 
Christ in the beginning of His preaching chose out 
twelve Apostles, to contemn all earthly things, to 
follow Him m poverty and other virtues; so S 
l-rancis m the beginning chose out for the found- 
ing of the Order twelve companions, possessors of 
the deepest poverty. And even as one of the 
twelve Apostles of Christ, rejected of God, finally 
hanged himself by the neck ; even so one of the 

John of the Chapel, fell away and finally hanged 
himself by the neck. And unto the eleci this is a 
great ensampleand matter for humility and fear- 
hearing in mind that no man is certain to persevere 



2 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

unto the end in the grace of God. And even as 
inese holy Apostles were altogether wonderful in 
sanctity and humility and full of the Holy Spirit, 
so these most holy companions of S. Fraiwis were 
men of such sanctity, that, from the time of the 
Apostles until now, the world never saw men so 
marvellous and so saintly ; in that one of them 
was caught up into the third heaven, like S. Paul, 
and this was Brother Giles ; one of them, to wit 
Brother Philip Lungo, was touched on the lips by 
an angel with a coal of fire, as was Isaiah the pro- 
phet : one of them, and he was Brother Silvester, 
spake with God, as one friend doth with another, 
even as Moses did : one through subtlety of intel- 
lect flew up even unto the light of the Divine 
Wisdom, like the eagle, to wit John the Evangelist, 
and this was the mosthumble Brother Bernard^ who 
set forth clearly the deep things of Holy Writ : 
one of them was sanctified of God and canonised 
m heaven, being yet alive in the world, and he 
was Brother RuflSno, a gentleman of Assisi : and 
thuswise were they all favoured with singular 
marks of sanctity, as is set forth hereafter. 



CHAPTER II 

OfBnthir Btrnard of Quinlavalli, lint companin 
' 9fS. Francis 

The first companion of S. Francis was Brother Ber- 
nard of Assisi,whowascoaverted in thiswise : While 
S. Francis was still in the secular habit, albeit he had 
already despised the world, and went about being 



!. 1 








l\ 



""' .J ^" r . . ^ " l.'i .- ■ ^- .. 



te?. 



7/^ 













i 






i 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 3 

wholly held in scorn of men, m. -tifying his flesh by 
penances, m so much that by many he was thouRht 
foolish and was mocked at ■<'. a mad fellow, and was 
driven away with stones and foul abuse by his kins- 
folk andby strangers, yt borei.imselfpatientlyamid 
all manner ofignominy a. i reproach, as though he 
were deaf and dumb : Bernard of Assisi, the which 
was of the noblest, and richest, and wisest in the 
city, began wisely to take heed unto S. Francis, how 
exceeding strong his contempt of the world, how 
great his patience in the midst of wrongs, so that 
albeit tor a two years' space thus evil intreated of all 
persons and despised, he ever seemed the more con- 
stant ; then he began to ponder and to say within 
mmself: In no wise can it be that this brother 
hath not abundant grace from God ; " so he called 
him one evening to sup and lodge with him : and 
b. trancis consented thereto and supped with him 
and lodged. And thereat Bernard set it in his 
heart to watch his sanctity : wherefore he let make 
ready for him a bed in his own proper chamber, 
in the which at night-time ever a lamp did burn. 
And S. Francis, for to hirle his sanctity, when he 
was come into the chambe; , incontinent did throw 
hitnself upon the bed and made as though he slept • 
and likewise Bernard after some short space set 
himself to he down and fell to snoring loudly in 
fashion as though he slept right soundly. Whereby 
b. trancis, thinking truly that Bernard was asleep 
in his first sleep rose up from his bed and set 
himself to pray, lifting up his hands and eyes unto 
heaven, and with exceeding great devotion and fer- 
vour said :" My God, my God." And thus saying 






i^ 

tl 



V 



4 



4 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

and sorely weeping he abode till morning, always re- 
peating : " My God, my God," and naught beside ; 
and this S. Francis said, while musing on and mar- 
velling at the excellence of the divine Majesty, 
which deigned to stoop down to a perishing world 
and ti.rough His poor little Francis purposed to 
bring a remedy for the salvation of his soul and 
the souls of others. Therefore illumined by the 
Holy Spirit, or the spirit of prophecy, foreseeing 
what great things God would do through him 
and his Order, and minding him of his own 
insufficiency and little worth, he cried unto God 
and besought Him that by His pity and almighty 
power, without the which the weakness of man 
may ru; ght avail, He would supply his lack, aid 
and fulfil what of itself was nothing worth. Ber- 
nard seeing, by the light of the lamp, the most de- 
vout acts of S. Francis, and devoutly pondering in 
his mind the words that he spake, was touched and 
inspired by the Holy Spirit to change his life ; in 
the morning therefore he called S. Francis and thus 
bespake him : " Brother Francis, I am wholly pur- 
posed in my heart to leave the world and follow 
thee in whatsoever thou mayest bid me." Hearing 
this, S. Francis rejoiced in spirit, and said : " Ber- 
nard, this that thou sayest is a task so great and 
difficult, that thereof mu«t we seek counsel of our 
Lord Jesu Christ, and beseech Him that He be 
pleased to show us His will therein, and teach us 
how we may bring it to pass : wherefore let us go 
together to the bishop's house, wherein is a ^ood 
priest, and let say the Mass ; then let us continue 
in prayer until Tierce, beseeching God that in thrice 



i£L 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI j 

opening of the missal He may reveal to us the path 
It 18 His wiUwe shouldelect." Bernardmade answer 
that this pleased him riehtwell. So fared theyforth 
and came to the bishop^s house : and after they had 
heard the Mass, and continued praying until Tierce 
the priest at the bidding of S. Francis took the 
missal, and making the sign of the most holy Cross 
opened it thrice m the name of our Lord Jesu 
Christ: and at the first opening appeared the 
words that Christ spake in the Gospel to the young 
man that asked concerning the way of perfection • 
If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou 
hast, and give to the poor and follow me ; " at 
the second opening appeared those words that 
Chnst spake unto the Apostles when He sent 
them forth to preach: "Take nothing for your 
journey, nor staves, nor scrip, nor bread, nor 
money ; wishing thereby to teach them that for 
their daily bread they should set all their hopes on 
Wod and fix their mind wholly on the preaching 
of the holy Gospel ; at the third opening of the 
missal appeared those words that Christ spake • 
''If any man will come after me, let him deny 
himself, and take up his cross, and follow me " 
Then spake S. Francis unto Bernard; "Behold 
the counsel that Christ giveth us: come then 
and fulfil that which thou hast heard : and blessed 
be our Lord Jesu Christ, who hath deigned to show 
forth His own life in theholy Gospel." This heard 
Bernard went out and sold all that he had, and he 
was very nch ; and with great joy he gave all his 
possessions to widows, to orphans, to prisoners, to 
monasteries and to hospices, and pilgrims ; and in all 



fl 



it 



'f y 






p 



6 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

things S. Francis helped him faithfully and wisely. 
And a certain man whose name was Silvester seeing 
that S. Francis gave and let give so much money to 
the poor, being moved by greed, said to S. Francis : 
" Thou hast not paid me m full for the stones thou 
didst buy of me for to rebuild the church ; therefore 
pay me now that thou hast money." Therewith S. 
Francis, marvelling at his greed and willing not to 
stir up strife with him, as a true follower of the holy 
Gospel, put his hands into the bosom of Bernard ; 
and filled his hands with money, which he put into 
the bosom of Silvester, saying that if he wished for 
more, more would he give him. Silvester being 
conten' with these, went away, and gat him to 
his house : but in the evening bethinking him of 
what he had done throughout the day, and chiding 
himself for his greed, pondering on the fervour 
of Bernard and the sanctity of S. Francis, he had 
from God, on the night following and two other 
nights, a vision on this wise, that from the mouth 
of S. Francis sprang a cross of gold, of which the 
top reached unto heaven, and the arms stretched 
from the East even unto the West. By reason of 
this vision, he gave away all that he had for the 
love of God, and became a brother minor, and 
lived in the Order in such sanctity and grace 
that he spake with God, as doth one friend with 
another, whereof S. Francis oft-times was witness ; 
the which will be set forth hereafter. Bernard in 
like manner had such grace of God that oftentimes 
in contemplation was he caught up to God : and 
S. Francis said of him, that he was worthy of all 
reverence, and that it was he that had founded 



c: ipr^cmrfflii 7:^^ 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 7 

this Order ; inasmuch as he was the first to leave 
the world, keeping back naught for himself, but 
giving all unto the poor of Christ, and, when he 
took on him the Gospel poverty, offering himself 
naked in the arms of the Crucified ; bless we His 
name, in secula saeculorum. Amen. 






CHAPTER III 

H,wfir an wil thought that &. FrancU had againU Brother 
Bernard,},, bad, the sa.d Brother Bernard tread thre, 
ttmit w,lh htsfeet upon hi, mouth and on hh throat 

The most devout servant of the Crucified, S. Fran- 
cis, through the rigour of his penances and cease- 
less tears, had grown wellnigh blind, and could see 
but little. On a time amongst others he hied him 
Irom the place where he was, and went to a place 
where Brother Bernard was, for to speak with him 
of things divine : and coming to the place, he found 
that he was at prayer in the wood, all lifted up and 
jomed to God Therewith went S. Francis into the 
wood and called him. " Come," quoth he, " and 
speak unto this blind man ; " and Brother Bernard 
made him no answer ; in that being a man of deep 
contemplation, his mind was fixed on things above 
and lifted up to God : but seeing that he hid grarj 
exceeding rare to speak of God, whereof S. Frlncis 
had oftentimes been witness, he desired the more to 
hold parley with him. So biding some short space, 
he called the second and the third time after the 
Mme fashion ; but neither time did Brother Bernard 
hear him, and therefore made him no answer nor 



V:^ 



8 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

came unto him ; so that S. Francis departed, a little 
disconsolate and marvelling within himself, and 
complaining for that Bernard, being called three 
times, had not come to him. Departing with this 
thought, S. Francis, when he was gone a little space, 
said to his companion : " Wait here for me : " and 
he went aside into a solitary place hard by and cast 
himself down in prayer, beseeching God that He 
would make known unto him wherefore Brother 
Bernard had made him no answer ; and as he prayed, 
there came a voice from God, which said thus: 
" O poor little man, wherefore art thou troubled ? 
Should a man leave God for a creature ? Brother 
Bernard, when thou calledst him, was joined unto 
Me ; and could not come to thee thereby nor answer 
thee ; wherefore marvel not that he could not speak 
to thee ; seeii^ that he was so much lifted out of 
himself that ofthy words he heard not one." Being 
thus answered of God, S. Francis straightway with 
great haste returned unto Brother Bernard, humbly 
to accuse himself of the thouzht that he had had 
concerning him. And beholding him coming to- 
wards him. Brother Bernard went to meet him and 
threw himself at his feet : then S. Francis let lift 
him up and told him with great humility the 
thought and trouble of mind that he had had 
concerning him, and how God had answered him 
therein ; wherefore he thuswise made an end : " I 
command thee by holy obedience that thou do 
whate'er I bid thee." Brother Bernard, fearing that 
S. Francis might o'erstep the bounds, as was hit 
wont, in what he bade him do, fain would have 
escaped this obedience, if so he might be without 



JiM^^^sM-zM- 



^^-f.'^M 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 9 

fcult ; and therefore thus replied : " Ready am I 
to work out thy obedience, if thou promise me to 
do whatsoever I shall bid thee;" and S. Francis 
promising. Brother Bernard said : " Now tell me, 
father, what is thy wUl that I should do." Then 
spake S. Francis : " I command thee by holy obedi- 
ence that for punishment of my presumption and 
the heat withm my heart, when now I throw me on 
the ground upon my back, thou set one foot upon 
my throat, and the other on my mouth, and thus- 
wise three times pass over me from side to side, cry- 
ing shame upon me and contempt, and chief of all 
besMak me i as : ' ClodpoU, lie there, thou spawn 
of Peter Bernardoni, whence cometh such great 
pnde to thee, that art a thing most vile ? ' " Hear- 
ing the which Brother Bernard.albeit right grievous 
to him was it in the doing, yet for holy obedience, 
with what courtesy as best he might, he fulfilled 
•!i .. "* Frsmcis ; and this done, S. Francis 
said : " Now do thou command me whate'er thou 
wilt that I should do ; since I have promised thee 
obedience." Said Brother Bernard : "I command 
thee by holy obedience that, whensoe'er we be to- 
gether, thou rebuke and correct me harshly for my 
fauito. Whereat S. Francis made mighty marvel : 
for that Brother Bernard was of such great sanctity 
that he held him in high reverence, and deemed him 
not blameworthy in any thing at all, and therefore 
from that time forth S. Francis took heed to shun 
his fellowship, by reason of the said obedience, so 
that no word of correction might ever fall on one 
whom he knew to be of such great holiness, but 
when he wished to see him or hear him speak of 



lo THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

God, with what speed he might he left him again 
and was away. Right edifying in very sooth it 
was to see with what great love and reverence and 
humbleness S. Francis, the father, bore him and 
spake with Brother Bernard, his first-born son. 
To the laud and glory of Jesu Christ and the poor 
little one, S. Francis. Amen. 



'I 

'M 

% 



CHAPTER IV 

Hnv the angil of God proposed a quettion unto Brother E/ias^ 
guardian if a House in the valley of SpoUto, and became 
Brother Elias answered him proudly, departed and went 
along the road to S. Jameses, where he found Brother 
Bernard and told him this story 

At the beginningsnd commencement of the Order, 
when as yet there were few brothers and the Houses 
had not been taken into possession, S. Francis for 
his devotion went to S. James's of Galicia, and took 
with him certain of the brothers, among whom one 
was Brother Bernard ; and as they went thus to- 
gether on the way, he found in a certain place a poor 
sick man, and having compassion upon him, said to 
Brother Bernard : " Little brother, I will that thou 
stay here to tend on this sick man ; " and Brother 
Bernard humbly bowing the knee and bending the 
head received the obedience of the holy father, and 
stayed in that place ; and S. Francis with the other 
companions went on to S. James's. Having won 
thither, while he was spending the night in prayer 
in the church of S. James, it was revealed by God 
unto S. Francis, that it behoved him to take posses- 
sion of many places throughout the world, because 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,, 

his Order must needs grow and increase into a vast 
multitude of brothers: so upon this revelation, 
t>. 1-rancis began to take possession of places in all 
those countries. And when S. Francis was return- 
ing by the same way, he found Brother Bernard and 
the sick man, with whom he had left him, fully re- 
stored to health; wherefore S. Francis the next year 
gave leave unto Brother Bernard to go to S.James's, 
ao &. trancia returned to the valley of Spoleto and 
abode in a solitary place, he and Brother Masseo 
and Brother iJias and others; and they all took 
right good heed not to let or hinder S. Francis from 
prayer; and this did they for the great reverence 
that they bore him, and because they knew that God 
revealed unto him wondrous high matters in his 
prayers. Now it befell on a day that, S. Francis 
being in prayer in a wood, a fair youth, arrayed 
tor a journey, came to the door of the House, and 
knocked with such haste and violence and for so 
long a space th^t the brothers greatly marvt.ied at 
such unwontta knocking. Went Brother Masseo, 
and Of the door, and said to the youth : " Whence 
ut th . ome little son, for it seemeth thou wast 
fr"i ", J „ ' '" '•''='' unwonted fashion hast 
thou knocked?" The youth replied : "And how 
then should one knock ? " Quoth Brother Masseo : 
l^ive three knocks, one a brief space after the 
other ; then wait so long that the brother may have 
Mid the Paternoster and come unto thee ; and if in 
this space he does not come, knock once again." 
The youth replied : "I am in great haste and Fhere- 
fore I knock so loudly because I have a longjourney 
to make, and am come here to speak with Brother 






II 



12 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

Francis ; but he is now wrapt in contemplation in 
the wood, wherefore I wish not to disturb him ; but 
go, tell Brother Elias that I would fain ask him a 
question, for I hear that he is very wise." Then 
went Brother Masseo and told Brother Elias that 
he should go to the youth ; but he waxed wroth 
thereat and would not go. Wherefore Brother 
Masseo knew not what to do nor what to answer 
him ; in that if he said, Brother Elias cannot come, 
it were a lie ; and should he tell how he was wroth 
and would not come, he feared to set before him an 
evil ensample. When Brother Masseo was so long 
delayingto return, the young man knocked again as 
at the first, and a short while after Brother Masseo 
returned to the door and said unto the youth : 
" Thou hast taken no heed unto my instruction 
in the matter of knocking." Replied the youth : 
"Brother Elias will not come unto me : but go thou 
and tell Brother Francis that I am come to speak 
with him ; but since I would fain not hinder him 
from prayer, tell him to send unto me Brother 
Elias.' Then Brother Masseo got him to S. 
Francis, who was praying in the wood with his face 
uplifted towards heaven, and set forth to him the 
message of the youth and the answer of Brother 
Elias : now that youth was an angel of God in the 
form of a man. Therewith S. Francis, nor moving 
from his place nor bending down his head, spake 
to Brother Masseo: "Go thou and tell Brother 
Elias for obedience sake to go forthwith unto that 
youth." Brother Elias receiving the obedience of 
S. Francis, went to the door much disquieted, and 
opened it with great noise and violence, and said 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,3 

Z^J^ ■ J 'j '"'*'*' '^°''«=''' t''" thou be not 
wroth, as thou dost seem to be ; for anger weigheth 
down the soul and suffereth it not to se! theS " 
Sa,d Brother Ehas : " Tell me what thing thou wi t 
of me." Replied the youth : " I ask thee if irh; 
hit wh- V-' follower' of the Holy 60'^: ^'e« 
gat which .5 set before them even as Christ bade 
H.9 disciples; andlask thee moreover if it be lawful 
for any man to put forward aught contrary to the 
hberty of the Gospel." Brother Elias mad7answer 
haughtdy : " I know full well, but will not ^ZZ 
thee, so go thy ways." Quoth the youth : "Ishould 

thou. Then ma fury and great rage Brother 
Ehas shut to the door and was away. ^Anon b^- 
gan he to muse upon the question aforesaid and 
doubt wrthm himself, and knew not how to resolve 

mJ^^A T" T" " ^^^ °"^" ""'1 had com- 
manded and made an ordmance out and beyond 
the Gospel and beyond the Rule of S. Francis to 
wit, that no brother in the Order should eat flesh • 

•nl" K l^^'T^ .? ^^^ ""^^^^ °f th= youth 

and how he had said that he should know bette; 

m7J°^"TZ 'u '' '1^"''°" '*■»" ""'d he. Brother 
Ehas went back again to the door and opened it 
for to ask the youth touching the questio"^ afor^- 

Tf R ^K "J?,-"" ''"••'y ""'y- '" 'hat the pride 
of Brother Elias was not worthy to hold converse 

the wh'l Tf-u. '^'" '^°"'' SI''-'"'-'', to whom 
the whole had been revealed by God, came back 



:<i«lv:^»A 



14 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

?K"l^"n*'"l"'^' ""^ '•'"Ply with loud voice 
rebuked Brother Elias saying : " You do ill, proud 
Brother El.as, to drive away the holy angeli that 
come to teach u». I tell thee that much I fear lest 
thy pnde will make thee end thy days outside the 
Order On thit same day, in the very hour 
that the angel went away, appeared he in the self- 
same form to Brother Bernard, who was on his 
way back from S. James's, and had won the bank 
of a great nver ; and saluted him in his own tongue 
saymg: "God give thee peace, good brother;" 
and good Brother Bernard marvelled exceedingly 
and noting the beauty of the youth and the lan- 
guage of his native land, together with his salu- 

u°^" i.^t"' ""* '"'' J°y^''' countenance, he 
asked: "Whence art thou come, good youth?" 
Replied the angel : " I come from the place where 
S. trancis dwells, and went there to have speech 
with him; and this I could not atuin, for that 
he was in the wood contemplating things divine, 
and I wished not to disturb him. And in that 
place dwell Brother Masseo and Brother Giles and 
Brother Elias ; and Brother Masseo taught me to 
knock at the door as the brothers use ; but 
Brother Elias, because he would not answer the 
question that I set him, went away afterwards, and 
would fain have heard me and seen me, but he 
could not. After these words, said the angel to 
Brother Bernard : " Wherefore dost thou not cross 
over? Brother Bernard made answer: "Because 
I fear the danger for the depth of the waters that I 
see Quoth the angel : " Let us cross over to- 
gether, and be not doubting;" and he took his 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 

nard knew that he was the^;„ Pf" brother Ber- 
great reverence andToy cried fn a I "T^' ""^ "'''' 
blessed ange] of gJ, tell me thv .^°'" •" " ^ 

the angel: " Wherefore Tske J T' ^'P^''^ 
the wh?:h is V^ondcZ'^VdTw""^;!"^'' 
angel vanished out of si„hf <,„7,s „" *»"'• the 
na«i much comforted in^u^h""^ '"{' ^™">" Ber- 
he journeyed with gre« "v Z't'!:'' "■« '^"V 
of the day and hour tha the an h,"l°"eht him 
to h.m. And coming to the nl.^'i '""'/PP«'«d 
"-as with the compfnonri 'i'i'"'^- ^"""» 
unto them the whofe ma„erT"^; "" ^' ^°«'' 
knew of a surety that Se Jf '^""' ""'^ they 
day and on that houVtd arr'J"^'' °" ">« 
«nd unto him. appeared unto them 

CHAPTER V 

SiiiNo that S. Francis ,nA u- ^ " " """' 
called of God an^t to h *"'• '"fP^nion, were 
in their deeds and X^ ^^thTh'''''' ''""^'"'' 
crossofChrist.they seemedT* J'"'"; '""g"^' the 
sooth men crucified » hv Jf ^ '"."^ """ '" very 
of their au,te« lff;T„S'^J!S°" "f 'heir habit as 
therefore they desi^l th- ""'^ ^°'^^-- '"d 

and contumely ?or X live 7r J° '"'^' »'>«™ 
honour of the'^wowd nd ,;;/„^^er'' .""''^ *''"• 
men: m insults they reioic^/^H 1!"^ P™* °f 
r- sad: and so th^TStr^iXVcliS 






.'•♦ %ft'« . 



1 6 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

as strangers and pilgrims, bearing with them naught 
save Jesu Christ Crucified. And sith they were 
true branches of the true vine, that is Christ, they 
brought forth great and good fruit of souls, that 
they won for God. It happened in the beginning 
of the Order that S. Francis sent Brother Bernard 
to Bologna to the end that he might there, accord- 
ing to the grace that God had given him, bring 
forth fruit to God ; and Brother Bernard making 
the sign of the most holy cross, for holy obedience 
departed and came unto Bologna. And the 
children seeing him in poor and threadbare habit, 
despitefully intreated and made much mock of 
him, as though he were a fool : but Brother Ber- 
nard with patience and with joy bore all things for 
the love of Christ ; nay, of set purpose that he 
might the more be evilly intreated, betook him to 
the market-place of the city : whereby, he sitting 
there, many children and men came together about 
him, and some from behind, and others before, 
plucked at his hood ; some pelted him with dust 
and some with stones ; some pushed him this way 
and others that : and Brother Bernard continuing 
always after the same fashion and with the same 
patience, with a joyful countenance, neither com- 
plained nor changed at all, and for the space of 
many days returned to the same place, but for to 
suffer the like usage. And sith patience is a work 
of perfection and proof of virtue, a learned doctor 
of the law, beholding and musing on the great 
constancy and virtue of Brother Bernard, how for 
so many days nor taunt nor contumely could e'er 
disquiet him, saidthus within himself: "Of a surety 



#•.#' 



wm^^^ 




:m 



ill 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI „ 

this needs must be i holy man ■ " .„A 
»«" unto him. he «ked ' Whn 1 '"J"'"* 
»nd wherefore \tt tl,^„ V."° *" ^^°'^i 

th«he is. tfue^S orG^"""??'."'^'"^ 
to Brother Bernard • "<UW -^"^ *" '»''' 

House. whereLTo. may serve°GoS:"'' '° ''"?""'' ' 
"^'h right eood will forM , • '""leniently, 
will I five U you ••■ R.i'lt ?'»'"? °'"")' »°"l 
"Good^ir. mrnks oW^rdt^Chr^Tr'K 
put th.s thought within your heart and^h Y^ 
for the honour of Christ I J?r ', ^ therefore 
proffered gift "Then 'Ir^"^'''. ""?' y°« 

the.idjuigeU'S;o"th:'Lrdrhirho'°^^ 

and fromKme fortIV"'"«"/"""''«'l " = 
special defXof Br^Therfcj''' J"!?" »"'' 
P«nions. And Brother b!^„ju^ ""'' ''" '=°'»- 
lift. began tot'^h" ^S :f/°^tet'-°'^ 
such sort that whoso miRhtTouch »„!.'^ ^u-' '° 
deemed himself blessed Sy but he nr '"'"• 
ci^cple of Christ and the huIbSj^f^^^^^^ 



1 8 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

that the honour of the world might hinder the 
peace and salvation of his soul, on a day departed 
and returned unto S. Francis and spake thus unto 
him : " Father, the House is founded in the city of 
Bologna : send brothers thither to maintain it and 
abide therein : since I have no more profit therein, 
nay, rather for the too great honour done to me I 
fear me I have lost e'en more than I have gained." 
Thereat S. Francis, learning all things in order, 
how God had worked through Brother Bernard, 
gave thanks to God, who thuswise was beginning 
to enlarge the poor little disciples of the Cross : 
and anon he sent of his companions to Bologna 
and into Lombardy, the which founded many 
Houses in diverse places. 



CHAPTER VI 

Hnu S. Fraittit blirnd thi haly Brathtr Bernard and J/ft 
him at his vicar, when he came to past awayfrtm this 
life 

Brother Bernard was of such sanctity that 
S. Francis held him in high reverence, and praised 
him oftentimes. It happened on a day while S. 
Francis was continuing devoutly in prayer, that it 
was revealed to him by God that Brother Bernard 
under leave of God must needs endure full many 
and sharp assaults of the demons: wherefore 
S. Francis having great co.-n passion on the said 
Brother Bernard, whom he loved as his little son, 
prayed many days with tears, beseeching God for 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,5 

And S pinrl ,r f "^""'y °^«'- "le demon 

™ay bless thee befor?! d^• Tht "S!^ T' 
Broth„E.i.,.ndsp.kcr«stiH°:^"„:^1 



rM 






I 111 



ao THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

" May God the Father of our Lord Jesu Christ 
bias thee with all spiritual and celestial blessings 
in Christ. Since thou art the first-born, elect in 
this holy Order to give an ensample of the gospel 
life, to follow Chnst in gospel poverty ; for not 
only didst thou give and distribute to the poor 
whate'er was thine wholly and freely for the love 
of Christ, but oflfisred thyself also unto God in this 
Order for a sacrifice of sweetness ; blessed be thou 
therefore of our Lord Jesu Christ and of me His 
poor little servant, with everlasting benedictions, 
going and staying, waking and sleeping, living and 
dying ; let whoso blesseth thee be filled with bless- 
ings, whoso curseth thee go not free from punish- 
ment. Be thou the chief among thy brethren, 
and to thy command let all the brothers yield 
obedience : have thou license to receive into this 
Order whomsoe'er thou wilt, and let no brother 
have lordship over thee, and be thou free to go 
and stay where'er it pleaseth thee." And after the 
deathof S. Francis, the brothers lovedand honoured 
Brother Bernard as a father worthy of all reverence, 
and when he drew nigh unto death there came to 
him many brothers from diverse parts of the world, 
among whom came that seraphic and godlike 
Brother Giles ; who, looking on Brother Bernard, 
said with joyfulness: "Sursum corda, Brother 
Bernard, sursum corda:" and Brother Bernard 
spake secretly unto a brother that he should make 
ready for Brother Giles a place well fitted for con- 
templation: and so was it done. Being at the 
last hour of death, Brother Bernard let lift him 
up, and spake unto the brothers that were before 



^^^. 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI j, 

him, saying : " O brothers most dear, I desire not 

for a thou«nd worlds the like of this I would Z 
have served any other Lord than our Lo^ C 
Chnst: and for every fault I have com^^Jd I 
do accuse myself and confess my guilt Tnt" mv 

most dear that ye love one another ; " and after 

l^rhirn' ""^ ""'':• 8°°^ "dmonishments! he 
laid him down upon his bed, and his face o-rJ. 
bnght and joyful beyond meiu^! so tl«t .if ?hT 
b othe^ marvelled exceedingly, and i° that joyful 
ncM his m-n holy «>ul, crowned with elorv 

Ka^°gT,s:'"' """" "'= '"'° ^' "=«d'U' 



CHAPTER VII 

iWo, U-W h. fo,t,d fin, da,, and fir,, 2ht 
and at, nt mm than tni half haf ^ ' * ' 

As the true servant of Christ, S. Fnmcis. wis in 

thTw^rff r' V " r" '"'°''^" chri"t?gi::„' " 

nf rJ!^ u ^°J l*" *'''»"°" "'■ ■"«. it waslhe will 
of God the Father to make him in m«,y of hit «t, 
conformed and like unto His own .ilf^^iZ 
Chnst ; even as was shown forth in the venertble 
company of the twelve compmions, and "r.he 
wondrous mynery of the holyTtigm. .. ^ Z the 



jEi ...MA^mmitm 



22 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

unbroken fast during the holy Lent, which he kept 
in this manner. It befell on a time that S. Francis, 
on the day of carnival, being hard by the lake 
of Perugia in the house of one of his devoted 
followers, with whom he had lodged the night, 
was inspired of God that he should go and keep 
that Lent on an island in the lake ; wherefore S. 
Francis besought this devoted follower of his, that, 
for the love of Christ, he would carry him across 
in his little boat to an iiland on the lake, wherein 
no man dwelt, and that so would he do upon the 
right of Ash Wednesday, so that none might be 
ware of it ; so he for love of the great devotion 
that he had unto S. Francis with diligence fulfilled 
his request and carried him across to the island 
aforesaid, and S. Francis took with him naught save 
two small loaves. And being come unto the island, 
and his friend parting himself to go back home, 
S. Francis besought him tenderly that to no man 
would he reveal in what guise he there abode, and 
that save upon Holy Thursday he would not come 
to him ; and so he was away. And S. Francis re- 
mained alone : and sith there was no dwelling-place 
whereto he misht betake him, he entered into a 
close thicket which many a thorny bush and shrub 
had fashioned like a cav,. or little hut : and in this 
place he gave himself up to prayer and contempla- 
tion of the things of heaven. And there abode 
he all the Lent, nor eating nor drinking aught 
save half of one of those small loaves, even as was 
found by his devoted follower on Holy Thursday, 
what time that he came back to him ; who found 
of the two loaves one still entire, but of the other. 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 23 

half. So men believe that S. Francis took no food 

om reverence for the fast of Christ the blessed 

one, who fasted forty days and forty nights with- 

"■.V^fr* u'"?/7 '?"'''y ^'^< *"« '" this manner 
with that ha f a loaf chased far the venom of vain 
glory from him, and after the pattern of Christ 
kept fast for forty days and forty nights; and there- 
after in that place where S. Francis had wrought 
such wondrous abstinence, through his merits did 
Ood work many miracles ; for the which cause did 
men begin to build houses there and dwell therein ; 
and in brief space uprose a hamlet fair and great 
and therewithal a House for the brothers, the which 
IS named the House of the Island ; and even to this 
day the men and women of that hamlet feel great 
reverence and devotion in the place where S. Francis 
Kept the aforesaid Lent. 



I 






CHAPTER VIII 

Hnu, a, S. Francis and Bnlhtr Ln wm guing by thi way, 
hi at firth unit hm what things vim pirfitt jty 

Whikas S Francis was going one day from 
Ferugia to S. Mary of the Angels with Brother 
1-eo in the spring tide, and the very bitter cold 
gnevously tormented him, he called to Brother Leo 
that was going on before and said thus : "Brother 
Leo, though the Brothers Minor throughout all 
the world we.e great ensamples of sanctity and 
true edifying, nathless write it down and take heed 
diligently that not therein is perfect joy " And 



' \' \ i 



'1 


J 

1 

f 


k 




!■' 


/ 



H THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

&. "l^A ii"!'^'''"' S- F"ncis called . second 
,hn,!M ■ '°'^" ^?' *"*'' ""= Bothers Minor 
should give s.ght to the blind, make straight the 
crooked, cast ou. devils, make the deaf to h«r he 

tim 1° "u'"'-'^' '^"'"^ '° »P««''. «"d (greater 
still) should raise them that havV been dead a four 
days space, write that not herein is perfect joy." 
And going on a little, he cried aloud : " O Brither 
Leo, If the Brother Minor should know all tongu 
and all sciences and all the Scriptures, so tha! he 
could prophesy and reveal not only thing, to come 

that'i^t th' ''•"•' °f ^"sciences and sfuls, write 
that not therein is perfect joy." Going on vet a 
l.«le further S. Fnmcis calle'd aloud of cem':. 

th?Rr^th M^"" "'°." '',"'" '•'"P of God, albeit 
the Brother Minor should speak with the tongue 

I'v-r^ • 'A^ "f °*"*' courses of the sursfnd 
the virtues of herbs; and though all the treasures 

tf^' u ■ "'" V^"^'^ "'>'° Wm and he under- 
stood the virtues of birds, and of fishes, and of all 
animals, and of men, and of trees, and of stones 
and of roots, and of waters, write that not therein 
IS perfect joy And going on a little further, 

IIT'm'""^ ''°Vf '■ " ° ^"^^" Leo, albeit thi 
Brother Minor could preach so well as to turn all 
the infidels to the faith of Christ, write that not 
therein is perfect joy." And this manner of speech 
continuing for full two miles, Brother Leo^th 
much marvel besought him, saying: "Father I 
pray thee m the name of God that thou tell me 
wherein ;f Perfect joy." And S. Francis thus made 
answer: "When we come to S. Mary of the Angels, 
all soaked as we are with rain ««i numbed with 



AIM- 



^ Mr 4 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI jj 

the porter comes in anger and savs • • Wh^ ' .1 
andwesav 'Wch,f-„ r V' Who are ye?' 
savs .Y"L;„jT"*"'°°'^y°<"- brethren:' and he 

mrmm 

siy- ■ Th«L hi •' ""'""' >'«'"°"='=n"p:d should 
"r- iBese be importunate knavn T n^ii 
them well m they deserve '.nHK'u ■* 1*^ 

sticic • if .„-.L • " "" the knots of that 

fck >f w,th p.t.ence«.d with gladness we suftr 



t s ', 



s6 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

all these things, thinking on the pains of the blessed 
Uimt, the which we ought to suffer for the love 
ot Him : O Brother Leo, write that here and herein 
IS perfect joy : then hear the conclusion of the 
whole matter Brother Leo : Above all graces and 
Rifts of the Holy Spirit, that Christ gi^nteth to 
His beloved, is to overcome oneself, and willingly 
for the love of Christ endure pains and insults and 
shame and want : inasmuch as in all other gifts of 
Godwe may not glory, sith they are not o5rs but 
Gods; whence saith the Apostle: What hast thou 
that thou hast not received of God ? And if thou 
hast received it of Him, wherefore boastest thou 
thyself as if thou hadst it of thyself? But in the 
crras of tribulation and affliction we may boast 
sith this IS ours; and therefore saith the Apostle! 
I would not that I should glory save in the ctosJ 
of our Lord Jesu Christ." 



CHAPTER IX 

««/ S.Fr,,cl, lau^t Bmh,r La hnu U an«vtr him, 
anUhm, ht auU ntvtr say aught tav, thi cntrary of what 
4. Francn wiihed ■' 

It befell on a time in the beginning of the Order 
thatS. Franciswaswith Brother Leo in a place where 
they had not books to say the divine office withal ■ 
when the hour of matins came, said S. Francis to 
Brother Leo: Dear son, we have no breviary 
wherewith to say matins ; but to the end that we 
may spend the time in praising God, I will speak 



S. FRANas OF ASSISI jy 

answer- "^Ji ■„ . ""* "'Other Leo made 

tey. B%;h:i:r'°-^'°''"Leo; b^utwhen 

thoudo^e' ai^^ t S<SXV "'"^ '"'i""'^' ''»' 
cunied nfC^l u " '''°" *" worthyto be ac- 
curaed of God, do thou answer thus : In viry ^th 

J^in.'^^e^flS-.i^troV.n';-^^^^^^ 

andB^it^^''" """''' '° 1^ accursed of Thee •• 
G^^M h'"^°'"''*""™"= ''OBrotherF™"is 

FWncis marvelling that sthtuolnt'^^'t 

as I tirh ? r'"'««'« dost thou not answer even 
?h.t »?„ ' command thee by holy obedience 
that thou answer as I sh.ll teach thee. ^ I Sauly 






k^-JSii. 



»8 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

thou that God will have mercy on thee, seeing thou 
h«t commuted 50 many sins against theFaLrof 
mercy and God of all consolation, that thou art^o 

.ttk lamb, mlt answer : In no wise art thou worth^ 
to find mercy. But whena, S. Francis said : " O 
Brother Francs, vile wretch " and the like, Brother 
i^o made answer : •• God the Father, whMe mer^ 
.s.nfimtelyg«aterthan thy sin, will show theegm^ 
mercy, and, more than this, will pour upon thee 
m«y graces." At this reply S^V^nerblg 
sweetly angered «.d patiently disquieted, said unto 
Brother 1^0: "And wherefore hast thou had the 
Wdness to do agamst obedience, and now so many 
times hast answered to the contrary of that which 

LmM "P°:3 "■" ■ •*'?"«* ^^'her Leo right 
humbjy ,„d reverently : " God knows, my ftofer 
that each fme I set it in my hem to answer 
as hou hadst bid me ; but God makes me "^ 

Whereat S. Franas marvelled, and said to Brother 
1^0 I pray thee most lovingly that this time 
thou answer me as I have tol<f thee." RepW 
Brother Leo : "Speak in the name of God fS^ 
a siu^ty w,ll I this time answer a. thou wish^t^ 
And b. Francis weepmg said : " O Brother Francis 

unonT'^'-'^o''",' '.^°" ''•" ^ '^l' have m«y 
upon thee ? " Replied Brother Leo : " Nay rather 
great pace Shalt thou receive of God and He shall 

th^ V*^' M"tf!°"V*'~ ^"^ -". for evei^ one 
that humbleth E.mself shall be exalted, and nVugSt 
other can I say since God speaketh through my 



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iisvyyF.'^^jiEr «#^^'7^^^ m 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 
mouth." And thuswise in thit ! n 
with many tears and much spiritua, > 
they kept watch untU the day. 



29 

-le atrife, 
nsdlati. r>, 



CHAPTER X 

HtwBrtlherMaua,a!thcuihmii^Lnf,,air,.,, ,s / ,, , 
that all thi uiarld came aftir Urn : ,..w / i,,li,'d-'-a' 

Whjnas S. IFrancis on a time abode in the House 
of Portiuncula with Brother Masseo of Marienano 
a man of much sanctity, discretion and grace in 
speakmg of God, for the which cause S. Francis 
loved him much: one day S. Francis returning 
from the wood and from prayer, and being at the 
entrance to the wood, the said Brother MaSeo de- 
su^d to make proof of his humility, and stood over 
agamst hrni, and as though mocking said • " Whv 

Replied S Francis: "Whati, this thou wouldest 
say ? guoth Brother Masseo : " I say, why doth 
all the world come after thee, and why is it seen 
that all men long to look on thee, and hear thee 
and obey thee? Thou art not a man comely of 
form, thou art not of much wisdom, thou art not 
noble of birth: whence comes it then that it is 
after thee that the whole world doth run?" Hear- 
ing this S. Francis, all overjoyed in spirit, liftin? 
up his face unto heaven, stood for a great while 
with his mind uplifted in God ; anon returning to 






30 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

himself igain, he knelt him down and rendered 
thanks and praises unto God : and then with great 
fervour of spirit turned him to Brother Masseo 
and said : " Wilt thou know why after me ? wilt 
thou know why after me ? wilt thou know why 
after me the whole world doth run? This 
Cometh unto me from the eyes of the most high 
God, which behold at all time the evil and the 
good : for those most holy eyes have seen among 
smners none more vile, none more lacking, no 
greater sinner than am I : wherefore to do this 
marvellous work the which He purposeth to do, 
He hath not found upon the earth a creature more 
vile, and therefore hath He chosen me to confound 
the nobleness and the greatness and the strength 
and the beauty and wisdom of the world : to the 
intent that men may know that all virtue and all 
goodness come from Him, and not from the crea- 
ture, and that no man may glory in himself; but 
whoso will glory, may glory in the Lord, unto 
whom 15 all honour and glory for ever and ever." 
Then Brother Masseo, at so humble a reply uttered 
with so great fervour, was afraid, and knew of a 
surety that S. Francis was rooted and grounded 
in humility. 

CHAPTER XI 

Hni S. Francii mail Bnthir Maitn turn nunj and nund 

mtral timii, and thtn wint it Sitna 
It befell on a day when S. Francis was going by 
the way with Brother Masseo, that the said Brwher 
Masseo was going on a little before ; and coming 



,1^- . ,.4.- _- '. 



S FRANCIS OF ASSISI 3, 

to .pl.ce whm three ro»d» met whereby one 

quoth Brother M.sseo: "F.ther, by which w.^ 
are we to go?" Replied S. Francis: "By that 
wh.ch God shall will." Quoth Brother mL»«" 
And how can we know the will of God ' " Re- 
fh~ ;f ""/" '■ u" ^l '^^ "'?" '•''''' I »'»" 'how 
command thee that m the cross-way where thou 

ittle children do, and cease not turning unless I 

him round and round, and turned round so long 

that oftentimes he fell upon the ground througE 

giddin^ of the head, the which is wont to be en- 

^nderol through such manner of turning, but 

»uh S. Francs tHd not bid him stop, he forthwith 

frU^H"'''STT« '^""'fully to yield obedience. 

fMvXiZ ■ -T !T'"8 ™'""'' "Kht man- 
fully, S. Francis jaid : "Stand firm anS do not 

Wm '"x" f \"°°^' "'' S- ^"""' "ked 
f j,M ,!™™' "'•" quarter is thy f.ce now 
turned?" Replied BrotUer Masseo : " Tow^SI 

that God would have u, go." Now as they went 
along this way, Brother Masseo marvelled within 

^Tfk''\'?/°" ^^ f"""' 'Wd made him do 
"do the children before the worldly folk that 
paasrf that way: howbeit for reverence sake he 
dared say naught to the holy f.ther. As thev 
drew nigh unto Siena, the people of the city heux^ 
of the coming of the saint and hied them out to 
meet him ; and of their devotion bore him and 






3* THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

his companion right to the bishof '3 house, in such 
wise that they touched not the ground at all with 
their feet. Now at that same hour certain folk of 
Siena were at strife with one another, and already 
two of them lay dead. S. Francis having won 
there preached to them in so devout and saintly 
a fashion, that he brought them one and all to 
peace and close unity and concord together. For 
the which cause the bishop of Siena, hearing of 
the holy work that S. Francis had wrought, bade 
him to his house and received him with high honour 
that day, and eke the night. And the next mom 
S. Francis, who with true humility sought naught 
in all his works save only the glory of God, rose 
up betimes with his companion, and without the 
bishop's knowledge was away. Whereat the said 
Brother Masseo went by the way murmuring within 
himself, saying : "What is this that this good man 
hath done ? Me he made to turn round and round 
like a little child, and tc the bishop who hath done 
him such honour, he liath said not even a word, 
nor given him thanks withal ; " and to Brother 
Masseo it seemed that S. Francis had borne him- 
self therein without discretion. But anon by divine 
inspiration coming to himself again, and chiding 
himself within his heart. Brother Masseo said: 
" Thou art too proud, who dost judge the works 
of God, and art worthy of hell for thy undiscerning 
pride; for yesterday did Brother Francis work 
such mighty works that, if the Angel of God had 
wrought them, they had not been more marvelloua: 
wherefore, if he had bidden thee throw stones, thou 
shouldst have done it and obeyed : for what he did 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSJSI 33 

upon the w.y proceeded forth of God's own work 

Jl«> the devil would hTn.^d to heTL""'' 
fore met foolish .rt .ho3p,;°„5 'h 7^';^- 

r:h?;i,^7;i!*rf«!f'y--'h;orU 

Breth/r M °'^: '*"'' »" ""« things that 
Brother Mwseo spake within hi, hem. gi„g „„' 

wh^foreTp"'"-"^ °' ^"^ ""'° s.v,::5ri. 

"nererore S. bnincis, cominff clniu. nr, »„ u- 

m thy thoughts, for they .re good ,nd usrfnl .^H 
inspu-ed of Goa: but thv firiTm,?™, ■ ** 

blind Md v.i„ .'nd proud s^d bv tTd""^,^" 
cT«ri"y ;^^K p Vp^ BU^r^'^ss?' 

of dmne w.«lom did guide the holy f.ther ^."1 
CHAPTER XII 

^ofhVe"nd thSiltT'bL" K- '^"-• 

g ory by the msny giL .nd g^ce, thlt C" ""'" 
U. but by virtue o^f humi.i.r^tght'';i„^h^„'! 



iii.a. 



34 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

with from virtue unto virtue, on a time when he 
abode in a solitary place with those true saints, his 
first companions (among the which was the said 
Brother Masseo), spake on a day to Brother Masseo, 
before all his comprnions : " O Brother Masseo, 
all these thy companions have the grace of con- 
templation and of prayer ; but thou hast the gr^e 
of preaching the word of God, for the satisfying 
of the people : wherefore to the end that these 
may be able to give themselves up to contempla- 
tion, I will that thou perform the office of the 
door and of almsgiving and of the kitchen ; and 
when the other brothers eat, thou shalt eat without 
the door of the House ; so that whosoever shall 
come to the house, thou mayst satisfy them, ere 
they knock, with some good words of God; so 
that then none other need go out save thee ; and 
this do for the merit of holy obedience." There- 
with Brother Masseo drew back his hood and 
bent his head, and humbly received that obedience, 
and continued therein for many days performing 
the office of the door and of aims-givmg and of 
the kitchen. Whereat his companions, as men 
enlightened of God, began to feel in their hearts 
great remorse, considering that Brother Masseo 
was a man of great perfection, even as they and 
more so, and that on him was laid all the burden 
of the House and not on them. For the which 
cause they all were moved with one desire, and 
gat them to the holy father and besought him 
that it would please him to distribute among them 
those offices, sith their consciences could in no 
wise endure that Brother Masseo should bear the 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 35 

vr^wS ^ '"'*' 'f- ""^B ">''• S- Franci. 
yielded him unto their couniel., and granted their 

" R*"! ""^""'"8 Brother Masseo, said unto him : 
Brother Masaeo, thy companions desire to have 
share in the offices that I have given thee, and there- 
fore I will that the said offices Be divided." Quoth 
Brother Museo with great humility and patience : 
father, whate er thou dost lay on me, or wholly 
or m part I deem it altogether done of God." 
^H .K u""m'' '*^°''''"g their loving kindnesi 
«nd the humility of Brother Masseo, preached 
unto them a marvellous sermon on holy humility • 
setting forth unto them that the greater the gifts 
and graces that God giveth us, the more humble 
should we be, sith without humility no virtue is 
.cceptabletoGod. And done the 'preaching, he 
distributed the offices with love exceeding grew 



CHAPTER XIII 

UiwS.FraKis and Bnthr Maim ut th. irad that thn 
l<'dh.u<d up,n a ,t,n, hard by a fnntain, and hm 

G,danH S f.,„ and S. Panl ,ht,H> w»ld w /, 

'•••^"•■tthln,.fh.l,p„^t,,andh,u,S.PHnand 
4. Paul apfnrtd unu htm 

The wonderful servant and follower of Christ, to 
wit S. Francis, to the end that he might in all 
ihings conform himself perfectly unto Christ, 
who, as the Gospel saith, sent His disciples forth 
by two and two unto all the cities and places 



36 



"HE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 



where H wai Himself purposing to go; seeing 
that after tie pattern of Christ he had gathered to- 
gether twel e companions, sent them forth by two 
and two to preach throughout the world. And 
to give them an ensample of true obedience, he 
was himself the first to go, after the pattern of 
Christ who began to do before He taught. Where- 
fore having allotted to his companions the other 
parts of the world, he with Brother Masseo as his 
companion took the road that led to the land of 
France. And coming one day to a town sore 
hungered, they went, according to the rule, 
begging their bread for the love of God ; and S. 
Francis went by one street, and Brother Masseo 
by another. But because S. Francis was mean to 
look upon and small of stature, and was deemed 
thereby a vile beggar by whoso knew him not, he 
got by his begging naught save a few mouthfuls 
and scraps of dry bread : but to Brother Masseo, 
in that he was tall and fair of form, were given 
good pieces, large and in plenty, and of fresh 
bread. When that they had done their faegging, 
they met together to eat in a place wttkout the 
city, where was a &ir fountain and, hanl by, a 
fine, broad stone ; upon the which each set the 
alms that he had begged. And S. Francis, seeing 
that Brother Masseo's pieces of bread were more 
and finer and larger than his own, rejoiced with 
great joy, and said ; " O Brother Masseo, we are 
not worthy of such vast treasure ; " and when he 
repeated many times these selfsame words, Brother 
Masseo made answer : " Father, how can one speak 
of treasure where is such poverty and lack of 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 37 

»11 things whereof there is need? Here is nor 
cloth nor knife, nor plate, nor porringer, nor house, 

n,Jt i' S°' ?"'"■»«""'«. "or m«d-serv.nt." 
«uoth S. Francis: "And this it is th« I ac- 
count vast treasure, wherein is no thing at all pre- 
pared by human hands, but whatsoe'er we have is 
given by God's own providence, as manifestly doth 

?rh^f". ""^Z "'" "" *""" l^gg^d. 'n the 
table of stone so fine, and in the fouS'so clew 
wherefore I will that we pray unto God that He 
make us to love with all our heart the treasure of 
S P^y*"}; wjiich is so noble, that thereunto did 
t«M Himself become a servitor." And when he 
had said these words, and they had done their 
prayer, and for refreshment of the body had taken 
ot those pieces and drunk of that water, they 

unto . church S. Francis said to his compTnioS : 

Let us go into the church to pray." And S. 

l-rancis gat him behind the altar and gave himself 

to prayer: and in that same prayer he received 

from the divine visitation fervour so exceeding 

great, the which inflamed his soul so mightily with 

the love of holy poverty that, by the colour of 

nis ta^ and the unwonted opening of his lips it 

Memed as though he breathed forth flames of love. 

And coming thus enkindled to his companion, he 

bespakehim thus : " Ah ! ah ! ah ! Broth^Masieo, 

give thy«lf to me;;' and thus spake he three 

timei; »nd at the third time S. Francis with his 

breath lifted Brother Masseo up into the air, and 

threw him a great spear's length in front of him ; 

Whereby exceeding great amazement took hold on 

Brother Maaaeo. Afterwards he recounted to 



U'>^ 



.0.m^mm f£3mmm:i'}T^. 



38 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

his companions how that, when as he was uplifted 
and hurled along by the breath that S. Francis 
breathed on him, he tasted such sweetness of soul, 
and consolation of the Holy Spirit, that in all hit 
life he ne'er had felt the like. And this done, 
S. Francis said : " My comrade, let us go to S. 
Peter and S. Paul and pray them to teach us and 
help us to possess the immeasurable treasure of 
most holy poverty ; for it is a treasure so high 
excelling and so divine that we be not worthy to 
lay it up in our vile vessels; since this is that 
celestial virtue whereby all earthly things and 
fleeting are trodden under foot, and whereby all 
hindrances are lifted from the soul, so that freely 
she may join herself to God eternal. And this is 
the virtue that makes the soul, still tied to earth, 
hold converse with the angels in heaven, and this it 
is that hung with Christ upon the cross, with Christ 
was buried, with Christ rose up again, with Christ 
ascended into heaven ; the which also in this life 
grants to the souls that love it an easier flight to 
heaven ; in that it guards the arms of true humility 
and love. Wherefore let us pray the most holy 
apostles of Christ, the which were perfect lovers 
of this gospel pearl, that they may beg for us this 
grace from our Lord Jesu Christ, that of His 
most holy mercy He may make us worthy to be- 
come true lovers, followers, and humble disciples, 
of the moat precious, most lovable, and gospel 
poverty." With such converse they so hnd 
until they came unto Rome, and went into the 
church of S. Peter; and S. Francis set himself 
to pray in one corner of the church, and Brother 
Masseo in another; and as he continued a long 



^^^% i^€^-.JL::y&'' -:j^'ff-lP^v:7 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 39 

IhTt'^i^'^j''"'' ""S** ""P'-g »'«1 devotion, 
I^l^'^^T^ T^^- F«""» the most holy 

t.id . Becuse thou hast asked and desired to 

o^^H^r. '^'"'5 ?''™A »'«' "'» •'°iy »po»t'«° 

IhHrnH!!""""" '5" '^y P"y" " heard, and 
that God has granted to thee and to thy followers 

dov-^'^^a' P!^"'i°" '^' *'"^"" °f "O" holy 
tC^L A ^"''" *' '=" 'h~ in His name 
that whoso after thy pattern shall perfectly follow 
h.s des« he « assured of the blessedness of 
life eternal : and blessed shalt thou and all thy 
followers be;" and with these words they were 
.w.y,leavmgS.FrancisfilledwithconsoIation. I"d 
"^ ™ P"):?-- he "turned to his companion 
Md asked h,m .f God had revealed naughtunto 
told'hr^ l,""T"^';''^*"8ht." ThenS^Francis 
hii ,n^ r u' holy «PO»tles had appeared to 

hl?h Z- "*» '}'^- ''"' "^"'«*- Wh^«« they 
both bemg filled w.th joy re«,lved to return un!o 

int'oF^r''""'""'*"'^ ''-'*''- j^-y-ng 
CHAPTER XIV 

««- « S. Franci,jndhi,tr.,l„r, w.r. diu«.r,ing .f G,d, 
Hi apptartd n th, miiit tfthim 

of thVord' *"lf ■''" '°TP"j°"»> '" 'he beginning 
Ch 1» ° / • h«"g gathered together to^ak of 
Christ, m fervour o^spirit he bade one of them 
open h., mouth m the name of God, and speak of 
God whate'er the Holy Spirit might inspire?^ him 



jf¥ 



40 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

When the brother hid done his Wdding and ipoken 
marvellout things of God, S. Francis i.id silence 
upon him, and bade another brrAher do likewise. 
He yielding obedience, and dUcoursing subtly of 
God, S. Francis in like mar.ner laid silence upon 
him, and bade a third discourse of God, the which 
in like manner bman to speak so deeply of the 
secret things of God, that S. Francis knew of a 
surety that, even as the other twain, he spake by 
the Holy Spirit : and this likewise was set forth 
by example and a clear sign ; for while they thus 
were speaking, there appeared the blessed Christ 
m the midst of them in form and fashion of a youth 
most fair, and blessing them all, filled them with 
such grace and sweetness, that they all were rapt 
away out of themselves, and lay as though dead, 
taking no heed of aught of this world. Then 
returning to himself again, S. Francis said unto 
them : " My brothers most dear, give thanks to 
God, who hath willed.by the mouths of the simple, 
to reveal the treasure of heavenly wisdom ; since 
God It is that openeth the mouth of the dumb, 
and maketh the tongues of the simple to speak 
words exceeding wise." 



CHAPTER XV 

Htw S. Cla-i j,v with S. Francis anJ tht trtthm, hi, 
comprnion$, in S. Mary tftht AngiU 

Whimas S. Francis was at Assisi, oftentimes he 
visited S. Clare and gave her holy admonishments. 
And she having exceeding great desire, once to 



iBVM ^ ^i%jf^^»"^*m 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 4, 

^1 ^J'"^ him, oft-times besoueht him 
thereto, but he w„ never willing to grant her thU 

ifH^t •^'*"'""*""'°Sf'"nci8: "FithoT 

It doth ippeu- to us that this severity accordeth 
not wth lieavenly charity : since thou rivernot 

S Iwk' '" '°/''f*" » ■»»"" " breaking 

and tm™?V^P*^5'''"S*'~"'^°"«dthe riches 
«nd pomps of the world. And of a truth h.d 

outht:',:' t'"; ^""'u~'" thj:.Tht'th':u 

1 hen replied S. Francis : '• Doth it seem eood to 
you that I should gmnt her prayer r f^iS 
hu companmns: "Yea, father, fitting is it Vh« 

hou grant her this boon and consolation." The" 
»^ke S. Francis : " Since it seems good to vou it 
«em, ,0 likewise unto me. But tf Tshe may'h^ 
the more consoled. I will that this breakW of 

that it w^" !°"^ T' ^"' "P '" S. ffamUn so 
S MLrTwh"-"™!" '■? ^°'" "?*'" '^^ house of 
a. Mary, where her hair was shorn away and she 
became the bride of Jeau Christ; and ther let t 
«t together in the name of God." When came 
the day ordained by him, S. Clare with one com! 
pamon passed forth from out the consent, tnd 
with the compuiions of S. Francis to bear her 
company came unto S. Mary of the An«ls and 

tLTX'^'rA'^' ^''«'" ^"y h«foreT;itS 

conducted her to see the House, until such time 



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N». Ywi. i4«oa us* 



(716) *a2 - oioo - PTwM 






42 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

as the hour for breaking bread was come. And 
in the meantime S. Francis let make ready the 
table on the bare ground, as he was wont to do. 
And the hour of breaking bread being come, they 
set themselves down together, S. Francis and S. 
Clare, and one of the companions of S. Francis 
with the companion of S. Clare, and all the other 
companions took each his place at the table with 
all humility. And at the first dish, S. Francis 
began to speak of God so sweetly, so sublimely, 
and so wondrously, that the fulness of divine 
grace came down on them, and they all were rapt 
m God. And as they were thus rapt, with eyes 
and hands upp^t to heaven, the folk of Assisi and 
Bettona and the country round about, saw that 
S. Mary of the Angels, and all the House, and 
the wood that was just hard by the House, were 
burning brightly, and it seemed as it were a great 
fire that filled the church and the House and the 
whole wood together : for the which cause the 
folk of Assisi ran thither in great haste for to 
quench the flames, believing of a truth that the 
whole place was all on fire. But coming close up 
to the House and finding no fire at all, they 
entered within and found S. Francis and S. Clare 
and all their company in comtemplation rapt in 
God and sitting around that humble board. 
Whereby of a truth they understood that this 
had been a heavenly flame and no earthly one at 
all, which God had let appear miraculously, for to 
show and signify the fire of love divine wherewith 
the souls of those holy brothers and holy nuns were 
all aflame ; wherefore they gat them gone with 



fttl 




I 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 43 

great consolation in their hearts and with holy 
^y^f, ^'"=" »ft«- some long space, S. Francis 
and S. Clare, together with all the others, returning 
to theniselves again and feeling of good comforl 
trom the spiritual food, took little heed of the 
food of the body. And, that blessed feast thus 
ended, S. Clare, escorted well, returned unto S 
Urjnian, whereby the sisters, beholding her, had 
i7 "u l"^'"^ 8''« ; for they feared lesf S. Francis 
should have sent her to rule some other convent, 
even as he had already sent Sister Agnes, her holy 
sister, as abbess to rule the convent of Monticelii 
«t Florence : and S. Francis on a time had said to 

. i. ^ **'°" "^y- ''■ so be that I needs 
mutt send thee to some other House ;" and she 
as a daughter of holy obedience, had made answer ! 
father I am at all times ready to go whither- 
soever thou mayest send me." Wherefore the 
sisters rejoiced exceedingly when they saw her face 
«gam : and thenceforward S. Clare abode in much 
consolation. 



CHAPTER XVI 

Bmh,r S<k„t,r, that ,t b,h^d him iy truMnr I, 
''<jr'mu.hp,,^l.iandhm,h,f«,nd.dtl\hirdOril^, 
'thJ'l^^ ""^' ^'•■'^'"^ '-•"'' <!•' ■^'U'w, hM 

The humble servant of Christ, S. Francis, a short 
whUe after his conversion, having already gathered 
together many companions and received them 



m 



44 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

into the order, fell into deep thought and much 
doubting as to what he ought to do : whether 
to give himself wholly ui.to prayer, or some time 
also unto preaching : and on this matter he much 
desired to learn the will of God. And for that 
the holy humility t*- it was in him suffered him 
not to trust over mi :h in himself nor in his own 
prayer^ he thought to search out the will of God 
through the prayers of others : wherefore he called 
Brothtr Masseo, and bespake him thus: "Go 
unto Sister Clare and tell her on my behalf, that 
she with certain of her most spiritual companions, 
should pray devoutly unto God, that it may please 
Him to show me which of the twain is the better • 
whether to give myself to preaching or wholly 
unto prayer. And then go unto Brother Silvester 
and tell the like to him." This was that Bro- 
ther Silvester who when he was in the world had 
seen a cross of gold proceeding from the mouth 
ot b. brancis, the which reached even unto heaven 
and the arms thereof unto the ends of the world 
and this Brother Silvester was of so great devotion 
and so great sanctity, that whatsoe'er he asked of 
God was granted him, and oftentimes he spake 
with God ; wherefore S. Francis had a great de- 
votion unto him. So Brother Masseo departed 
and according to the bidding of S. Francis car- 
ried his message first unto S. Clare and then unto 
Brother Silvester. Who, when he had heard 
thereof, forthwith fell on his knees in prayer 
and as he prayed received answer from God' 
and turned to Brother Masseo, and bespake him 
thus : " Thus saith the Lord : Say unto Brother 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ^j 

Francis that God has not called him to this estate 
for himself alone, but to the end fW u 

LTttA ^°'^' »"'' '•» ""'wored that God had 
sent to her and her companions the same replv 

and there kneeled down before him and drew b^k 

plied Brother Masseo :" As unto Brother SilvesVer 
Chri^t""'r"'° ^"'" ^^^ '"dher sisters has 
Christ made answer and revealed: that it is W, 

.Tnt H^haThir'^^r""*''' -^"' "p-t 
since He hath chosen thee not for thyself »lnn, 

but al«, for the «iIvation of otheA." '^ And then 
S. Francs, when he had hearu this anX anS 
known thereby the will of Tesu rhli.T ^ 

be going in the name of G^ ; " and he took for hi 
companions Brother Masseo and Brothm°o^' 
holy men. And setting forth with fe"Xti 
of spirit, taking no thought for road or way th« 

ana b. l-ranas set himself to preach, but first 
he bade the swallows that were ^wituring keep 



ffl! 

f 



I 

hi 

h 



46 THE UrrUS FLOWERS OF 

silence till such time as he had done the preach- 
ing ; and the swallows were obedient to his word, 
and he preached there with such fervour that all 
the men and women of that town minded through 
their devotion to come after him and leave the 
town, but S. Francis suffered them not, saying : 
" Make not ill haste nor leave your homes ; and 
1 will ordain for you what ye should do for the 
salvation of your souls : " and therewith he re- 
solved to found the third Order, for the salvation 
of all the world. And so leaving them much 
comforted and with minds firm set on penitence, 
he departed thence and came unto a place between 
Cannaio and Bevagno. And as with great fervour 
he was going on the way, he lifted up his eyes 
and beheld some trees hard by the road whereon 
sat a great company of birfs well-nigh with- 
out number ; whereat S. Francis marvelled, and 
said to his companions: "Ye shall wait forme 
here upon the way and I will go to preach unto 
my little sisters, the Wrds." And he went into 
the field and began to preach unto the birds that 
were on the ground ; and immediately those that 
were on the trees flew down to him, and they all 
of them remained still and quiet together, until S. 
Francis made an end of preaching : and not even 
then did they depart, until he had given them his 
blessing. And according to what Brother Masseo 
afterwards related unto Brother Jacques da Massa, 
S. Francis went among them touching them with 
his cloak, howbeit none moved from out his 
place. The Sermon that S. Francis preached unto 
them was after this fashion : " My little sisters. 



_-* ^ '^'•-^ ._,. 



iMiiRTcgtidmtTttf 4nit4t» fpifiiau 
Linoeitfcno mnulu i-ftrotiwivo- 

wit fbmnKcm itu>ta)i«mdm..ro 




^ IVMiciNi III 

" •■"v. ..„,,. ,.,,■ i/v. „,„,.„, „„„.,,„„„„„„ 



Ipi 



yii 









i, 



1 



f! 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 47 

the birds, much bounden are ye unto God, your 
U-eatOT, and alway in every place ought ye to 
praise Him, for that He hath given you liberty 
to fly about everywhere, and hath also given you 
double and tnpJe raiment ; moreover He preserved 
your seed m the ark of Noah, that your rice might 
not perish out of the world ; still more are ye 
beholden to Him for the elenent of the air which 
«e hath appointed for you ; beyond all this ve 
sow not. neitherdo ye reap ; and God feedeth you, 
and giveth you the streams and fountains for your 
annk ; the mountains and the valley? for your 
refuge and the high trees whereon to make your 
nests; and because ye know not how to spin or 
sew, God clotheth you, you and your children ■ 
wherefore your Creator loveth you much, seeing 
that He hath bestowed on you so many benefits ; 
and therefore, my little sisters, beware of the sin 
of ingratitude, and study always to give praises 
unto God " Whenas S. Francis s^ake'^S 
words to them, those birds began all of them to 
open their beaks, and stretch their necks, and 
spread their wings, and reverently bend their heads 
down to the ground, and by their acts and by their 
songs to show that the holy Father gave them 
joy exceeding great. And S. Francis rejoiced with 
them, and was glad, and marvelled much at so 
great a company of birds and their most beautiful 
diversity and their good heed and sweet friend- 
iness, for the which cause he devoutly praised 
their Creator in them. At the last, having ended 
the preaching, S. Francis made over them the sien 
of the cross, and gave them leave to go away- 



lH 



48 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

»nd thereby all the birds with wondrous singing 
rose up in the air; and then, in the fashion of 
the cross that S. Francis had made over them, 
divided themselves into four parts; and the one 
part flew toward the East, and the other toward 
the West, and the other toward the South, and 
the fourth toward the North, and each flight 
went on its way singing wondrous songs ; signify- 
ing tiiereby that even as S. Francis, the standard- 
bearer of the Cross of Christ, had preached unto 
them, and made over them the sign of the cross, 
after the pattern of which they separated them- 
selves unto the four parts of the world: even 
so the preaching of the Cross of Christ, renewed 
by S. Francis, would be carried by him and the 
brothers throughout all the world; the which 
brothers, after the fashion of the birds, possessing 
nothing of their own in this world, commit their 
hves wholly unto the providence of God. 



CHAPTER XVII 

Hnu a littU ioy-iru/ier, nihili S. Francis was trayini in 
thi mght, saw Christ and th, Virgin Mar, and tian, 
ethir taints htld anversi with him 

A LITTLE boy, very pure and innocent, was received 
mto the Order, while S. Francis was yet alive ; and 
he abode in a little House, wherein of necessity 
the brothers slept on mats. It befell on a time 
that S. Francis came to the said House, and in the 
evening, after Compline, lay down to sleep, to the 
intent that he might be able to rise up in the night 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ^9 

to pray while the other brothers slept, as it was 
his wont to do. The aforesaid little boy set it in 
his heart diligently to keep watch upon the ways 
or s. trancis, that he might come to know of his 
sanctity, and chiefly that he might learn what he 
did by night when he arose. And to the end that 
sleep might not play him false, that little boy laid 
him down to sleep close to S. Francis, and tied his 
cord to the cord of S. Francis, for to be ware when 
he got up ; and of thi: S. Francis perceived naueht 
But at night in his first sleep, when all the ofher 
brothers were sleeping, he arose and found his cord 
thus tied : and softly he loosed it, so that the little 
boy was not aware thereof, and S. Francis .vent out 
alone into the wood that was hard by the House 
and entered into a little cell that was therein and 
set himself to pray. After some short space the 
little boy awoke, and finding the cord unloosed, 
and b. J.rancis gone, arose and went in search of 
him : and finding the door open that led into the 
w(X)d, he deemed thatS. Francis had gone thither 
and so entered into the wood. And coming close 
up to the place where S. Francis was praying he 
began to hear much discourse ; and drawing nigher 
for to see and learn what it was he heard, he be- 
held a marvellous light that shone round about S 
trancis, and therein he saw Christ and the Virgin 
Mary and S. John the Baptist and the Evangelist 
and a great multitude of angels, speaking with s' 
Prancis. When this he saw and heart!, the little 
boy fell on the ground in a deep swoon; so when the 
mystery of this holy vision was ended, S. Francis 
returning to the House, stumbled upon the little 



i;n 



50 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

boy lying as though dead upon the ground ; and 
in pity lifted him up and bore him in his arms, as 
doth the good shepherd with his sheep. Leami:ig 
thereafter from him how he had seen the vision 
set forth above, he bade him reveal it unto no man 
so long as he should be alive. And the little boy 

frew up in great favour with God and devotion to 
. Francis, and became a man of worth in the Order, 
and after the death of S. Francis he revealed unto 
the brothers the vision set forth above. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

Oftki marvillm chapter that S. Francis hili at S. Mary 
tf the Angih, whtriat were more than five thtuiand 
bratheri 

The faithful servant of Christ, Fraacis, on a time 
held a general chapter at S. Mary of the Angels, 
at the which chapter were gathered together more 
than five thousand brothers ; and thither came S. 
Dominic, head and founder of the Order of the 
Preaching Brothers, who was then on his way from 
Borgogna to Rome. And hearing of the Congre- 
gation of the chapter that S. Francis was holding 
on the plain of S. Mary of the Angels, he went 
to see it with seven brothers of his Order. Thetv 
was also at the said chapter a cardinal most devoted 
to S. Francis, who had prophesied unto him that 
he would be Pope, and it so came to pass ; the 
which cardinal had come of set purpose from 
Perugia, where the Court was, to Assisi; every 




ii 



I, H 



} 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISi ji 

day he came to see S. Francis and his brothers, and 
sometimes he sane the Mass, and sometimes he 
preached unto the brothers in chapter, and the said 
cardmal felt exceeding great joy and devotion 
whensoever he came to visit this holy company. 
And beholding the brothers sitting on the plain 
round about S. Mary's in companies, here forty 
there a hundred, there eighty together, all busied 
in discourse of God, in prayers, in tears, in works 
of love, and all abiding in such silence and such 
modesty that there was heard no noise or sound 
of contention ; and marvelling at so great a multi- 
tude so set in order, with tears and deep devotion, 
he said : " Of a truth this is the camp and the 
army of the knights of God." Nor was there 
heard in so great a multitude or idle speech or 
foolish jest, but, wheresoe'er a company ofbrothers 
was gathered together, they either prayed, or said 
the office, and bewailed their sins or those of their 
benefactors, or discoursed concerning the salvation 
of souls. In that camp were roofs of willows and 
rush-mats, set apart in groups according to the 
brothers of diverse provinces ; and thereby was this 
chapter called the Chapter of the Trellises, or of 
the Rush-mats; their bed was the bare ground, and 
for such as had it a little straw ; their pillows were 
stones or logs of wood. For the which cause so 
great devotion towards them was felt by whoso 
heard or saw, and so great was the fame of their 
sanctity, that from the Court of the Pope which 
was at that time in Perugia, and from the other 
parts of the valley of Spoleto, there came many 
counts, barons, and kinghts, and other gentle folk 






■M 



(I 



11 






$1 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

and many country folk, and cardinals and uishops 
and abbots with many other clergy, for to see this 
holy gathering, so great and so humble, such as 
the world had never seen before, of so many holy 
men together : and chiefest of all they came to see 
the head and most holy father of that holy band, 
the which had robbed the world of such fair prey[ 
and gathered together so devout and fair a flock 
to follow in the foot-steps of the true Shepherd 
Jesu Christ. The chapter general bemg then all as- 
sembled, the holy father of all and minister general, 
S. Francis, in fervour of spirit set forth the word of 
God : and preached unto them in a loud voice as 
the Holy Spirit made him to speak ; and as argu- 
ment of his sermon he set forth unto them these 
words: "My little children, great things have 
we promised unto God, much greater far hath 
God promised unto us, if we observe what we have 
promised unto Him; and of a surety shall we 
behold what hath been promised unto us. Short- 
lived is the joy of the world ; the pain that follows 
It IS everlastmg ; little are the pains of this life, 
but the glory of the other life is infinite." And 
on these words preaching most devoutly, he com- 
forted the brothers and turned their hearts into 
obedience and reverence for holy Mother Church, 
and unto brotherly love, to pray God for all 
men, and to liave patience in the adversities of the 
world, and temperance in prosperity, to observe 
modesty and angelic chastity, and to have peace 
and concord with God and with men and with their 
own conscience, and the love and practice of most 
holy poverty. And therewith he said unto them : 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI J3 

"I command you, by the merit of holy obedience, 
all ye who be here gathered together, that no one 
of you take care or thought for aught to eat or for 
aught of the needs of the body, but turn al! your 
thoughts to prayer and praise of God : and cast all 
your care for your body upon Him, for He careth 
tenderly for you.' And they all received this com- 
mandment with glad heart and joyful countenance, 
and done the sermon of S. Francis, they all fell 
down m prayer. Whereby S. Dominic, who was 
present at all these things, marvelled exceedinely 
at the commandment of S. Francis and deenfed 
him indiscreet, not knowing how to think in what 
manner so great a multitude could live without 
tokmg thought or care for the needs of the body. 
But the chief Shepherd, Christ, the Blessed On 
desiring to show what care He has for His sheep' 
and what tender love for His poor ones, straight- 
way put It into the hearts of the folk of Perugia, 
of Spoleto of Fuligno, of Spello and of Assisi, and 
the rest of the country round about, to bring food 
an-l dnnk unto this holy company. And lo ! all 
at once from the parts a^resaid came men with 
summer beasts, horses and carts, with loads of 
bread, of wine, of honey-combs, and cheese, and 
other goodlthings to eat, according as the poor of 
Christ had need. Besides this, brought they nap- 
kins, pitchers, cups, glasses and other vessels, to 
serve the needs of so great a multitude : and he 
deemed himself blessed whoso could bring most or 
serve most diligently; in such sort that even the 
knights and the barons and other gentle folk that 
cime to see, did service unto them with great 



[■ 



Pi 



1. 



•ill 

{•'1 
III 

t 



!l 



JV 



54 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

devotion and humility. For the which cause, S. 
Dominic, seeing these things, and knowing of a 
truth that God s Providence was working in them 
humbly repented him that he had falsely judged 
S. Francis to be indiscreet ; and coming before him 
he knelt dov.n, and humbly told his fault, and 
added: "Of a truth God hath especial care of 
these holy poor little ones, and I knew it not ; and 
from now henceforth I promise to observe the holy 
gospel poverty ; and in the name of God I curse 
*■' the brothers of my Order who in the said 
Order shall presume to hold property." So was 
S. Dominic much edified by the faith of the most 
holy Francis, and by the obedience of the poverty 
of so great and well-ordered a company, and by 
the divine Providence, and the rich abundance of 
all good things. In the same chapter it was told 
unto S. Francis that many of the brothers wore 
httle hearts and bands of iron on their bare flesh, 
for the which reason many were weak and some were 
dying thereby, and many were let and hindered 
from prayer. Wherefore S. Francis, like a most 
prudent father, commanded by holy obedience that 
whoso had either a little heart or band of iron, 
should take it olF and lay it down before him, and 
even so did they ; and there were counted up full 
five hundred little hearts of iron ; ana n.,.ny more 
bands, both for the arms and for the loins ; so that 
they made a great heip thereof; and S. Francis let 
leave them there. Afterthat the chapterwas ended, 
S. Francis, strengthening them in good works, 
and teaching them how they ought to escape out 
of this wicked world without sin, sent them back 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



Si 



again unto their provinces, with the blessing of 
trod and his own, all consoled with spiritual 
joy. ^ 



CHAPTER XIX 

Hmilh, viniyard of tht prmt rf RUti, in whm heme S 
tranm praitd, wai nhbtd and duftilid ofiun-apis h 
Ihtmmhfilk that cami to him ; and thn miracLmi 
Jieldtd mrt wtne than tu,r hifir,, nen </. S. Francit had 
pnmnid hm. And hnu God rntalid untt S. Francis 
that at hit death he ihmld inherit paradise 

S. Francis being on a time grievously afflkted in 
his eyes, Cardinal Ugolino, protector of the Order 
for the great tenderness that he bore him, wrote 
unto him to come to him in Rieti, wherein dwelt 
most cunning physicians for the eyes. Then S 
Francis, having received the letter of the cardinal 
gat him first toS. Damian, where was S. Clare the 
devout bride of Christ, for to give her some con- 
solation and thereafter go to the cardinal. S. 
trancis having won there, his eyes grew so much 
worse on the next ensuing night that he could not 
see the light a whit ; wherefore sith he could not 
go ujx)n his way,S. Clare let build for him a little 
Tf °' "~'> wherein he might the better rest him- 
Mlf. But S. Francis, what with the pain of his in- 
firmity, and what with the multitude of rats, that 
did him exceeding great annoy, could find! nor 
day, nor night, no rest at all. And having yet 
more of such pains and tribulation to endure, he 
began to think and understand that this was a 






iil 

1$ I.I 






V 



i' 




56 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

scourge from God for his sins ; and to thank God 
with all his heart and with his mouth, and anon 
cried with a loud voice, saying : "My Lord, of 
all this am I deserving, and much worse. My 
Lord Jesu Christ, Thou good Shepherd, who dost 
show forth Thy mercy to us sinners in diverse 
pains and anguish of the body, grant unto me, Thy 
little sheep, such grace and virtue that through no 
infirmity and agony or pain may I ever part from 
Thee While thus he prayed, there came a voice 
from heaven that said : " Francis, answer me • if 
all the world were gold, and all the seas and streams 
and fountains were balm, and all the mountains 
and hills and rocks were precious stones ; and thou 
shouldst find a treasure yet more noble than these 
things, as much as gold is nobler than earth, and 
balm than water, and precious stones than moun- 
tains and rocks, and if for thine infirmity that 
nobler treasure were given thee, wouldst thou not 
be well content therewith and right glad ? " Re- 
phed S. Francis: "Lord, I am not vrorthy of so 
precious a treasure ; " and the voice of God spake 
unto him : " Rejoice, Francis, for this is the treasure 
of eternal life, the which I have laid up for thee 
and from this hour I give it thee in possession ; and 
this infirmity and affliction is the earnest of that 
bleraed treasure." Then S. Francis called his com- 
panion, with great joy in so glorious a promise, and 
said : ' Let us go unto the cardinal," but first of 
all consoling S. Clare with holy words, and humbly 
taking leave of her, he set out on the way to Rieti. 
And when ne drew nigh thereto, so great a press 
of people came out to meet him, that he would 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



57 



to a church that lay without the city, it might be 
a two miles space. The city folk, coming to know 
that he was gone to the said church, ran together 
tor to see him, in such sort that the vineyard of 
the church was spoiled altogether, and the grapes 
of It were all plucked ; whereof the priest wis sSre 
gneymg m his heart, and repented him that he had 
received S. Francis into his church. The thought 
of the priest being revealed of God unto S. Francis 
he let call him, and said : " Dear father, how many 
measures of wine doth this vineyard yield thee 
the year it yields its best ! " Replied the priest ': 
Twelve measures." Quoth S. Francis : "I pray 
thee, Father, that thou bear patiently with me if 
1 tarry here some days, seeing that I find here 
much repose ; and let whoso will pluck of the 
grapes of this thy vineyard, for the love of God 
and me, his poor little one; and I promise thee, 
in the name of my Lord Jesu Christ, that it shall 
yield thee twenty measures every year." And thus 
did S. Francis in return for his sojourning there 
because of the great fruit of souls that wa! mani- 
festly mthered of the folk that resorted thither: 
whereof many departed drunken with love divine 
and abandoned the world. The priest trusted the 
promise of S. Francis, and freely gave up the garden 
unto all that came to him. And it was , marvel 
to see how the vineyard was all spoiled and plucked 
so that scarce any bunches of grapes were found 
left. I he time of the vintage came ; and the 
pnest gathered in such bunches as remained, and 
put them m the vat and trod them out, and accorf- 



' 



k 

111 

If 






II 



J8 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

ing to the promise of S. Francis got thereout twenty 
measures of the best wine. By this miracle it wa. 
manifestly set forth, for men to understand that 
even as the vineyard despoiled of grapes abounded 
in wine, through the merits of S. Francis ; even so 
the Christian people, that had grown barren of 
virtue by reason of sin, through the merits and 
teaching of S. Francis oftentimes abounded in the 
good fruits of penitence. 



CHAPTER XX 

Of a vimn wondrims fair, utn by aymng brathtr, thi which 
did hold thi cowl in mch hat, that h, mindid to tut off 
tht haM and liavi thi Order 

A viRY noble and tender youth entered into the 
Order of S. Francis : the which after some days, 
through the prompting of the devil, began to hold 
the habit that he wore in s.ich hate, that it seemed 
unto him he wore a sack most vile ; the sleeves he 
abhorred, he hated the hood, and the length and 
the roughness were unto him as a load unbearable. 
And his mislike of the religious life increasing more 
and more, at length he was purposed to put off 
the habit and return to the world. Now already 
it was his wont, according as his master had taught 
him, so often as he passed before the alur of the 
convent, whereon was kept the Body of Christ, to 
kneel with great reverence, and draw back his hood, 
and with arms crossed bow himself down. It be- 
fell that on the night whereon he was to go away 



if 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 59 

and leave the Order, he must needs pass before the 
altar of the convent ; and as he passed, he kneeled 
him down as was his wont and did reverence. And 
forthwith he was rapt in spirit, and God showed 
unto him a wondrous vision : in that he saw before 
him as It were a countless multitude of saints, like 
a procession, two and two, clad in beauteous robes 
of precious stulfi, and their faces and their hands 
shone like the sun, and they marched to the sones 
and chants of angels. Among these saints were 
twain more nobly clad and adorned than all <-st • 
and they were wrapt around with so much bright- 
ness that they wrought exceeding great amazement 
in whoso looked on them; and nigh to the end 
ot the procession he saw one adorned with great 
glory that he seemed a new-made knight, more 
honoured than they all. The youth beholdinc the 
vision aforesaid, marvelled exceedingly and knew 
not what this procession might portend, and dared 
not ask, but stood all mazed for very sweetness. 
Howbeit when all the procession had passed by 
he took courage and ran after the last of them' 
and with great fear asked them, saying: "Dear 
tnends, I pray you of your good pleasure to tell 
me who are these folk so wonderful that go in 
thB worshipful procession." They made aniWer : 
Know, little son, that we be all Brothers Minor 
coming from the glory of paradise." And again 
he asked : " Who be those twain that shine more 
than the others ? " They answered him : " These 
are S Francis and S. Antony: and this last one 
that thou seest so honoured is a holy brother who 
died of late: the which, for that valiantly he fought 



'1 



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6o THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

•gainst temptations, and persevered even jnto the 
end we are leading in triumnh to the glory of 
^dise and these robes or precious stuflfe so 
beautiful, that we wear, have been given us by 
t>od in lieu of the rough tunics that we wore wth 
patience in the religious life; and the glorious 
brightness that thou seest in us is given us of God 
tor the humility and patience, and for the holy 
poverty and obedience and chastity, that we keot 
even unto the end. Wherefore, little son, let it not 
seem a hard matter to thee to wear the sackcloth of 
religion that beareth such good fruit; seeing that 
If with the sackcloth of S. Francis for the love of 
Lhrist thou despise the world, and mortify the 
flesh, and strive valiantly against the evil one, thou 
Shalt together with us have even such a robe as 
this and such brightness of glory." And these 
words spoken, the youth returned to himself again • 
and taking comfort from the vision, chased fa^ 
trom him all temptation, confessed his fault before 
the guardian and the brothers, and from thence- 
forth desired the roughness of penitence and of 
dress, and ended his days in the Order in ereat 
sanctity. * 



CHAPTER XXI 

Ofth mil hfy mirmk that S. Francis wr ught who, h, 
convirted thi fitrci wolf tf Agtbii 

What time S. Francis abode in the city of Aeobio 
there appeared in the country of Agobio an ex- 
ceeding great wolf, terrible and fierce, the which 




illf 



•n, 



f 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 6i 

not only devoured anim.ls, but also men, in so 

sTth nfr"?* •" u^' "'' ^°^^ ""^ ■» P«« f"'! 
sith oft-times he came near to the city, and all 

men when they went out arrayed them in arms a. 

It were for the battle, and yet withal they mieht 

any chanced on him alone ; for fear of this wolf 

l„fJIt'^/°r '? ""=•' » P»'^ '^" ''°>"= durst 
go forth of that place. For the which matter, S 
l-rancis having compassion on the people of that 
and, wished to go forth unto that wol^ albeit the 
ownsfolk all gave counsel against it: and making 
the sign of the most holy cross he went forth from 
that place with his companions, putting all his 

furt'h '" ft ^"'^ 'H' "*""' ">»5oubti'ng to go 
further, S. Francis took the road to the plac? where 
hewolflay And lo ! in the sight of in^ rf the 
ownsfolk that had come out to see this miracle! 
the said wolf made at S. Francis with open mouth ■ 
and coming up to him, S. Francis made over him 

M™'*!i ^ IT'' \°'>' "°'^' *"'' """i him to 
hin. andbeipake him thus: "Come hither, brother 
wolf : I command thee in the name of Christ that 
thou do no harm, nor to me nor to any one." O 
wondrous thmg! Whena, S. Francis had made 
the sign of the cross, right so the terrible wolf 
shut his jaws and stayed his running: and when 
he was bid, came gently as a iamb and lay him 
down at the feet of S. Francis. Thereat S. F™„cb 
thus bespake him: "Brother wolf, much harm 
hast thou wrought in these parts and done grievous 
111, spoiling and^slaying the creatures of G<S, with- 
out His leave : and not alone hast thou slain and 



ll 



It U 

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62 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

devoured the brute beasts, but hast dared to slay 
men, made in the image of God ; for the which 
cause thou art deserving of the gibbet as a thief 
and a most base murderer ; and all men cry out 
and murmur against thee and all this land is thine 
enemy. But I would fain, brother wolf, make 
peace between thee and these ; so that thou mayest 
no more offend them, and they may forgive thee 
all thy past offences, and nor men nor dogs pursu- 
thee any more." At these words the wolf with 
movements of body, tail, and eyes, and by the 
bending of his head, gave sign of his assent to 
what S. Francis said, and of his will to abide there- 
by. Then spake S. Francis again: "Brother wolf 
sith It pleaseth thee to make and hold this peace' 
I promise thee that I will see to it that the folk of 
this place give thee food alway so long as thou 
Shalt live, so that thou suffer not hunger any more • 
for that I wot well that through hunger hast thou 
wrought all this ill. But sith I win for thee this 
grace, I will, brother wolf, that thou promise me 
to do none hurt to any more, be he man or beast • 
dost promise me this f " And the wolf gave clear 
i^ken by the bowing of his head that he promised 
Then quoth S. Francis : " Brother wolf, I will that 
thou plight me troth for this promise, that I may 
trust thee full well." And S. Francis stretchinR 
forth his hand to take pledge of his troth, the wolf 
lifted up hn right paw before him and laid it gently 
on the hand of S. Francis, giving thereby such sign 
of good faith as he was able. Then quoth S 
Francis: " Brother wolf, I bid thee in the name 
of Jesu Christ come now with me, nothing doubt- 



..».'' •" 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



63 



ing, and let us go stablish this peace in God's 
name. And the wolf obedient set forth with 
him, m fashion as a gentle lamb; whereat the 
townsfolk made mighty marvel, beholding. And 
straightway the bruit of it was spread through all 
the city so that all the people, men-folk and 
women-folk, great and small, young and old, gat 
them to the market place for to see the wolf with 

u" ="'c. ^""^ '''* P*°P'^ ' '"g gathered all to- 
gether, b. i-rancis rose up to preach, avizing them 
among other matters how for their sini God 
suffered such things to be, and pestilences also: 
and how far more parlous is the flame of hell, the 
which must vex the damned eternally, than is the 
fury of the wolf that can but slay the body; how 
much then should men fear the jaws of hell, when 
such a multitude stands sore adread of the jaws of 
one so small a beast.' Then turn ye, beloved 
unto God, and wprk out a fit repentance for your 
sins; and God will set you free from the wolf in 
this present time, and in time to come from out 
the fires of hell." And done the preaching. S. 
Francis said: "Give ear, my brothers: brother 
wolf, who standeth here before ye, hath promised 
me and phghted troth to make his peace with you, 
and to offend no more in any thing; and do ye 
promise him to give him every day whate'er he 
needs : and I am made his surety unto you that 
he will keep this pact of peace right steadfastly." 
Then promised all the folk with one accord to give 
him food abidingly. Then quoth S. Francis to the 
w -. before them all : " And thou, brother wolf, 
Jost thou make promise to keep firm this pact of 



i 



lit 

i 



64 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

peace, that thou offend not man nor beast nor any 
feature ? And the wolf knelt him down and 
bowed his head : and with gentle movements of his 
body, tail, and eyes, gave sign as best he could that 
he would keep their pact entire. Quoth S. Francis • 
Brother wolf, I wish that as thou hast pledeed 
me thy faith to this promise without the gate even 
so shouldest thou pledge me thy faith to thy pro- 
mise before all the people, and that thou play me 
not false for my promise, and the surety that I 
have given for thee." Then the wolf lifting up his 
right paw, laid it in the hand of S. Francis. There- 
with, this act, and the others set forth above 
wrought such great joy and marvel in all the 
people, both through devotion to the saint, and 
through the newness of the miracle, and through 
the peace with the wolf, that all began to lift up 
their voices unto heaven praising and blessing God 
that had sent S. Francis unto them, who by his 
merits had set them free from the jaws of the cruel 
beast. And thereafter this same wolf lived two 
years m Agobio; and went like a tame beast in 
nnd out the houses, from door to door, without 
doing hurt to any or any doing hurt to him, and 
was courteously nourished by the people ; and as 
he passed thuswise through the country and the 
houses, never did any dog bark behind him. At 
length, after a two years' space, brother wolf died 
of old age : whereat the townsfolk sorely grieved 
sith marking him pass so gently through the city' 
they minded them the better of the virtue and the 
sanctity of S. Francis. 



T-^ 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 65 



CHAPTER XXII 

Hmi S. Francis tamid thi wild turtlt-dmn 

It befell on a day that a certain young man had 
caught many turtle-doves : and as he was carry- 
ing them for sale, S. Francis, who had ever a 
tender pity for gentle creatures, met him, and 
lookmg on 'hose turtle-doves with pitying eyes, 
said to the ), th : "I -t,^j thee give them me, 
that birds so gentle, unto which the Scripture 
likeneth chaste and humble and faithful souls, 
may not fall into the hands of cruel men that 
would kill them." Forthwith, inspired of God, 
he gave them all to S. Francis ; and he receiving' 
them into his bosom, began to speak tenderly 
unto them: "O my sisters, simple-minded turtle- 
doves, innocent and chaste, why have ye let your- 
selves be caught ? Now would I fain deliver you 
from death and make you nests, that ye may be 
fruitful and multiply, according to the command- 
ments of your Creator." And S. Francis went 
and made nests for them all : and they abiding 
therein, began to lay their eggs and hatch them 
before the eyes of the brothers: and so tame 
were they, they dwelt with S. Francis and all the 
other brothers as though they had been fowls that 
had always fed from their hands, and never did 
they go away until S. Francis with his blessing 
gave them leave to go. And to the young man 
who had given them to him, S. Francis said : " My 



4 

r 

■i 



s\ 



% 



66 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

little son, thou wilt yet be a brother in this Order 
and do precious service unto Jesu Christ." And 
so It came to pass; for the said youth became a 
brother and lived in the Order in great sanctity 



CHAPTER XXIII 

Haw S. Francis dilivtred thi brothtr thai was in sin 
with tht devil 

As S. Francis was on a time at prayer in the 
liouse of Portiuncula, through divine revelation 
he saw the whole House surrounded and besieeed 
by devils, as it were by a great army, but no one 
of them could win an entrance into the House ; for 
the brothere were of so great sanctity, that the 
devils could find none in whom to enter. But 
as they so continued, it happened on a day that 
one of these brothers was offended with another 
and thought in his heart how he might accusd 
him and take vengeance upon him ; for the which 
cause, while his heart was devising this wicked 
thought, the devil, finding the door open, entered 
into the House and set himself upon the neck of 
that brother. But the heedful and pitying Shep- 
herd, who was ever keeping watch over his flock 
seeing that the wolf had entered to devour his 
little sheep, at once let call to him that brother 
and bade him forthwith disclose the venom of hate 
he had conceived against his neighbour, throuch 
the which he had fallen into the hands of the 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



67 



enemy. Whereat he being affiighted at seeing 
that the holy Father knew the secret of his heart 
discovered unto him all its venom and malice, and 
acknowledged his fault, and humbly begged for 
penance and mercy ; and this done, wh..ias he was 
absolved from his sin and had received penance 
immediately, before the face of S. Francis, the devil 
was away; and the brother this set free from the 
hands of that cruel beast, through the loving- 
kindness of the good Shepherd, gave thanks to 
God ; and going back, corrected and admonished, 
to the flock of the holy Shepherd, he lived there- 
after in great sanctity. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

Houi S. Francis wm cvir la thi faith the Stldan tf 

Babyion 

Wrought on by zeal for the faith of Christ and 
the desire of martyrdom, S. Francis went on a 
time over sea with twelve of his most holy com- 
panions, to get them straight to the Soldan of 
Babylon, and they came to a land of the Saracens, 
where the passes were guarded by men so cruel 
that none of Christian folk that passed that way 
might avail to scape from death ; but it pleased 
God that they were not slain, but taken alive, and 
beaten and bound were brought before the Soldan. 
And bang come before him, S. Francis, taught 
of the Holy Spirit, preached so divinely of the 



h 
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m 



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% 



68 



THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 



u 



faith of Christ, that for the sake thereof was he 
wilhng to go even through the fire. Whereby 
the Soldan began to feel exceeding great devotion 
toward him, for the constancy of his faith, as for 
the contempt of the world that he saw in him (for 
that he would take of him ao gift, albeit so very 
poor), and eke for the fervour of martyrdom that 
he saw in him. From that time forth the Soldan 
heard him gladly and prayed him that oft-times 
he would come before him, freely granting to him 
and his companions leave to preach wheresoever 
they would ; and he gave them a sign whereby 
they might be safe from the hurt of any man. 
Having such free license, S. Francis sent his 
brothers and other companions two by two into 
divers parts of the Saracens to preach the faith 
of Christ. Seeing in the end that he could reap 
no more fruit in those parts, S. Francis by divine 
revelation set himself with all his companions to 
return to the land of the faithful ; and when they 
were all gathered together, he came again to the 
Soldan and took leave of him to depart. And 
therewithal said the Soldan unto him: "Brother 
Francis, I would gladly turn me to the faith of 
Christ, but I fear to do so now ; for if these were 
ware of it, they would kill both thee and me with 
all thy company ; and inasmuch as thou canst yet 
do much of good, and I have certain matters of 
great weight that I must needs array, I would not 
now work both my death and thine ; but teach me 
now how I may be saved, sith ready ^m I to do 
all that thou mayest lay on me." Then spake 
S. Francis : " My lord, I must now go from you ; 



i 




I* 

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ill 



umr*. 



M 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



69 



but tfter that I have returned to my country and 
have gone to heaven, by the ^race of God, after 
my death, then, according as it shall please God, 
will I send thee two of my brothers, at whose 
tiands thou shalt receive the holy Baptisn. of Christ, 
and shalt be saved, even as my Lord Jesu Christ 
hath revealed to me. In this mean time do thou 
keep thyself free from all let and hindrance, to 
the end that when the grace of God shall come 
to thee, it may find thee prepared for faith and 
the devout life ; " and this he promised to per- 
form, and eke performed it. This done, S. 
Francis returned with that venerable company of 
his holy companions, and when some years had 
gone by, S. Francis, by the death of the body, 
gave up his soul to God. And the Soldan falling 
sick, waited for the promise of S. Francis and set 
guards at certain passes ; and gave orders that if 
two brothers shoulc* appear in the habit of S. 
Francis, they should straightway be brought to 
him. At that very time S. Francis appeared to 
two brothers and bade them go without delay 
to the Soldan and take care for his salvation, ac- 
cording as he had promised ; the which brothers 
straightway set forth, and crossing the sea were 
brought to the Soldan by the guards aforesaid, 
and when the Soldan saw them he had exceeding 
great joy, and said : " Now I know of a truth 
that God hath sent His servants for my salva- 
tion, according to the promise that S. Francis made 
me through divine revelation." Thereon being 
taught of these brothers in the faith of Christ 
and receiving holy Baptism, thus re-bom in Christ 






1; 



1 
III 



70 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

he died of that sickness, and his soul was saved 
through the merits and the prayers of S. Francis. 



CHAPTER XXV 

b«h.n souland kd, ; and what th ,oul >aid l,Zm, 
a! It wtnt up into htavm ' 

The true disciple of Christ, S. Frenci,, while he 
S/.%'^" "!if":»'''e life, strove with all his 
^Tc n° '^""'^ '^''""- ''•* ?"■'■'=" M«ter ; whence 
It befell oftentimes through the divine workine 
that of whomsoever he healed the body G<xi 

^?H /rl'°"' '".""! f^f-^mt, hour, even as it is 
read of Christ. And because he not only served 
the lepera of his own will, but moreover had or- 
dained that the brothers of his Order, whether 
staying or going throughout the world, should 
serve the lepers ?or the love of Christ, who willed 
tor our sakes to be accounted a leper, it befell 
on a time that in a certain House, hard by to 
that wherein S. Francis then abode, the brothers 
were serving the lepers and the sick in an hos- 
pital, wherein was a leper so impatient, and so 
unbearable, and so perverse, that all men deemed 
—and even so it was— that of a surety he was 
possessed of the devil ; for so shamefully did he 
assail with vile words and blows whoso did him 
service, and, what is still worse, he blasphemed 
wi h foul abuse the blessed Christ and His most 
holy Mother, the Virgin Mary, so that in no wise 



aH 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



71 



could be found any that could endure to serve 
him or was willing thereunto. And albeit the 
brothers strove with patience to endure the insults 
and injuries to their own proper selves, for to in- 
crease the merit of patience, nevertheless since their 
consciences might no longer endure those heaped 
on Christ and on His Mother, they all at once re- 
solved to leave the said leper ; but they wished not 
so to do until such time as they had signified the 
same m order unto S. Francis, who at that time 
abode in a House a-nigh thereto. And when 
they had told him, S. Francis went to this leper 
so perverae ; and coming close up to him, saluted 
him, saying : " God give thee peace, my brother 
most dear." Replied the leper: "What peace 
may I have of God, who hath taken from me 
peace and all good things, and hath made me 
stmkmg and rotten altogether.' " And S. Fran- 
cis said : " My little son, have pati-nce ; for the 
infirmities of the body are given by God in this 
world for the salvation of souls, seeing that they 
are of great merit when borne patiently." Re- 
plied ,the sick man : " And how can I bear with 
patience the continual pain that racks me day and 
night ? And not only am I afflicted with mine 
infirmity ; but the brothers whom thou hast given 
me ( J do me service, deal worse with me, and do 
not serve me as they ought." Then S. Francis, 
knowi-g by revelation that this leper was possessed 
with t .i evil spirit, went and set himself to pray 
and prayed God devoutly for him. And his 
prayer ended, he returned to him again, and spake 
thus: "My son, I will myself do thee service. 






'.■•M 



W 



72 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

seeing thou art not content with the others." " I 
am willing quoth the sick man; "but what 
canst thou do more than these others ? " Replied 

ZlmT,U ^"°"J ""? '=P" = " I ^'^h 'haJ thou 
wash me all over ; for I stink so vilely that I can- 

"Ihu: rr"^^ Thereupon S. F^ncis forth- 
LrL .h «"'"^,!""' n««"y sweet-smelling 

Tt the „T *'»"'!?• .'""I ""Other brother poured 
out the water; and it came to pass by a divine 

wi'/h'v' '^^ "^«»«'« S. Francis touchedWrn 
with his holy hands, the leprosv departed, and 
fle h h^. "•"'■ned perfectly whole. ^And as the 
flesh began to heal, even so began the soul to 
be healed also ; whereby the leper, seeing that he 
was beginning to be cured, began to ^el great 
compunction and repentance for^is sins, and lEga" 
most bitterly to lament; ,o that while his bliy 
was being cleansed without from the leprosy by 

deimsed from sin by amendment and by tea„. 
And beng every whit made whole both in body 
and soul, he humbly confessed his sin ; and weeJ- 

^tu f "u *„'°."'* ''°'" ■ " Woe is me, that am 
worthy of hell, for the insults and injuries th« 
I have said and done unto the brother, and for 
l^IinTt*^'^""'"^ bl^phemies that I have spoken 
against God ; wherefore for fifteen days he con- 
tinued in bitter wailing for his sins, and in calling 

nrie,,' '"rr°'^?°?> =°"f"»ing himself unto thf 
pnest with his whole heart. And S. Francis be- 
holding so clear . mmicle, that God had worked 



■"T" 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 73 

by his hands, gave thanks to God, and . •., -ted 
^'""- .g°>"g i"to a far country bccaa for 

elort of g'J h' '°"fht only the honour' and 
glory of God, and not his own. Thereafter fnr 

feU^ic\o/an ;h""f '"" '''y' °^^'^ P^"'"""" 
arrn^i ?/ another infirmity, and died a holy death 
armed with the sacraments of the church- and 

and body: and blesseH be thy holy words and 

Torfd L'r ';°"«'. I'" shal/man/sruTst the 
*orld be saved: and know of a truth that there 

and the other Saints give not praise to GodC 
the holy fruits that thou and thy Order Bather 
m in diverse parts of the world ; whereff " be 

rast with His blessing." And saying these words 



t4! 



Ill 



74 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 




i' 



CHAPTER XXVI 

Hiu) S.Framu coTivtrted thru robbtri that wtri murjmn 
and mail hrtthm of thim ; and aftht mist mbU vimn 
that was Sim by mt cfthim, tht which was a most huh 
brother ' 

It befell on a time that S. Francis was going 
through the desert of Borgo di San Sepolcr(^ 
and as he passed by a village called Monte asale, 
there came unto him a youth, noble and tender, 
and said to him : " Father, right willingly would 
I become one of your brothers." Replied S. 
Francis : " My son, thou art a youth, tender and 
noble. It may well be that thou couldst not endure 
our hardships and our poverty." And quoth he : 
" Father, are ye not men even as I i wherefore, as ye 
endure, even so shall I be able with the grace of 
Jesu Chnst." Well pleased was S. Francis with 
this answer : so blessing him, he forthwith received 
him into the Order, and gave to him the name 
of Brother Angel ; and this youth bore him so 
graciously that a short while thereafter S. Francis 
made him guardian in the aforesaid House of 
Monte asale. Now at that time there dwelt in 
those parts three notorious robbers, who wrought 
much evil in that coiintr/; the which came on a 
day to the said House of the brothers, and be- 
sought the said Brother Angel, the guardian, to 
give them food to eat ; and the guardian with 
harsh reproof, answered them after this fashion : 
"Ye thieves and cruel murderers, ye be not 






^^•1 




,s* 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI j; 

ash»med to rob others of the fruits of their labours : 
but likewise, as men insolent and bold, ye would 
devour the alms bestowed upon the servants of 
ljrod;in sooth, ye are not worthy that the earth 
should hold you, since ye respect nor mtn nor 
t«xl who created you : then go your ways and 
see ye come not here again ; " whereby they went 
away disquieted and full of ire. And behold, 
S. l-rancis returned from abroad with a wallet of 
bread and a little flask of wine, that he and his 
companion had begged: and when the guardian 
recounted unto him how he had driven the men 
away, S. Francis reproved him sternly, saying that 
he had borne him cruelly therein: "Because 
sinners are brought back to God better by gentle- 
ness than by cruel reproofs ; wherefore our master 
Jesu Christ, whose Gospel we have promised to 
observe, saith that they that be whole need not 
a physician, but they that are sick ; and that He 
was not come to call the righteous, but sinners 
to repentance: wherefore He oftentimes ate with 
them. Seeing then, that thou hast done against 
chanty and against the holy Gospel of Christ I 
command thee by holy obedience, that incontinent 
thou take this wallet of bread that I have beireed 
and this little flask of wine, and seaix:h diligently 
tor them over mountains and valleys until thou 
find them, and give them all this bread and wine 
as from me; and then kneel thee down before 
them and humbly confess thy fault of cruelty • 
and then pray them on my behalf that they do no 
more ill but fear God nor oflind Him any more : 
and if this they will do, I promise to provide for 



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76 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

their needs and to give them food and drink 
abidingly: and when thou hast said this unto 
them, return hither again in all humility." While 
the said guardian was going for to do his bidding, 
b brancis set himself to pray, beseeching God to 
soften the hearts of those robbers and convert 
them to peniience. So the obedient guardian 
came up with them and oflired to them the bread 
and tr.e wine, and did and said all that S. Francis 
had laid upon him. And sith it was the will of 
Ood, thest robbers as they ate the alms of S. Francis 
began to say among themselves : " Woe unto us 
miserabl vretches ! liow grievous are the pains of 
hell that await us, who go about not only robbing 
our neighbours, and beating and wounding, but 
likewise slaying them; yet none the less for such 
evil deeds and so great wickedness, as we commit, 
we ftel no whit remorse of conscience, neither fear 
of God; and lo! this holy brother that hath 
come to us and humbly hath confessed his fault 
for diverse words he justly spake against our 
wickedness ; and more than this, hath brought ds 
bread and wme and so bounteous a promise from 
the holy Father; of a truth these be holy brothers 
of God, and merit the paradise of God ; and we 
be sons of eternal perdition and merit the pains 
of hell, and every day increase our own damna- 
tion ; and we know not whether we can tura us 
from the sins that we have done up till now, unto 
the mercy of God." As one among them spake 
these and the like words, quoth the others: "In 
very sooth thou dost speak true, but come, what 
is It that we needs must do?" "Let us go," 



h ^ 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 77 

fd one, "unto S. Francis; and :,' he eives us 
hope that we may find mere,; of God for 1^ ins 

lble"tn H T^""*""'' ^' ^''^' "=' '"d '° "^y wrbe 
Thl 1 ''f °"' r'sfrom the pains of hell " 
Ths counsel was pleasing unto the others; and 
to S%^ "' M"S agreed, gat them in haste 
to S Francis, and bespake him thus: "Father 
for the multitude of the sins and wicked nes^s that' 
we have commuted, we deem it not possible to 

hope that God will receive us into His mercy lo ' 
we be ready to do whatsoever thou shalt tel us' 
and to do penance with thee." Thereat S. Francis' 

llf"^. ^T^'y '"*-'^ "'^™ =""1 i" kindly fasMon 
comforted theni with manyensamples: and mafcTng 
them assured of the mercy of God, promised them 
of a surety to obtain it for them from God, and 
settmg fo„h to them how that the mercy of 
God 1, infinite; and that if we had sins without 
number, yet the mercy of God is greater than our 
sins according to the Gospel ; and the Apc^tle S 
Paulsaith: "Christ, the felessed One, camefnto 
the world to save sinners." Through thTwii.h 
words and the like admonishments the saidTh ee 
robbers renounced the devil and 'all his works 
and S Francis received them into the Order and 
hey began to do great penance : and two of them 
I.ved but a short while after their conversion and 
wen to Paradise. But the third surviving and 
beth.„k,„g him of his sins, gave hims^V^o 

thewhfr'hri""'^ '" l^' =°"""°" Lenten fa"t. 
the which he kept together with the other brothers 




78 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

he fasted three days in the week on bread and 
water, going always bare-foot, with one tunic 
only on his back, nor sleeping ever after matins. 
About this time S. Francis passed away out of 
this miserable life. Now when this man for 
many years had continued in such penances, 
behold ! on a night, after matins, there came upon 
him so great a temptation to sleep, that in noway 
could he resist it and keep watch as he was wont. 
At the last not being able to resist sleep any longer 
nor to pray, he went to his bed to sleep ; and as 
soon as he had laid his head down, straightway was 
he rapt, and carried away in spirit to a very high 
mountain wherein was a precipice exceeding deep, 
and on this side and on that, rocks rugged and 
broken, and sharp-pointed stones jutting out of 
the rocks : such that it was a fearsome sight to 
look down this precipice. And the angel that 
was leading the brother pushed him and threw 
him down the precipice : and he falling down and 
rebounding from rock to rock, and from stone to 
stone, came at last to the bottom of this precipice 
torn limb from limb, and dashed all to pieces' 
as it seemed to him. And as thus he lay in evil 
plight upon the ground, he that led him said to him : 
" Get thee up, for thou needs must take a longer 
journey yet." Replied the brother : " Methinks 
thou dost lack discerning, and art exceeding cruel 
who seest me like to die from the fall that hath 
so broken me and yet doth bid me rise;" and the 
angel came near unto him, and touching him, made 
all his limbs thoroughly whole, and healed him. 
And after this he showed him a great plain full 



l\ 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



must enter in AnH fi, u ^ , ' "* "^^^ 
over all Ztohi^ltt ^'°'^" ^"''"'S crossed 
the ange s"<f "f!^ ^nevous agony and pains, 

thou n&tt do""r„d J"" '"""!• '°' - 
suddenly, warn °hat hi ^^ "'™'' ''™ '" " 

^£-h:::?^"rr'l,!:ts::°i^st 

thee the ^^in":./ oLr'df^nS"" ""^het" ^ 
gomg on a little further, rholdf thel '^T 



ill 



f, 

i 
if'i 



80 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

him without the furnace, and then bespake him : 
" Make thyself ready for to take a fearful jour- 
ney on the which thou needs must go." And 
he, lamenting, said : " O cruel guide, that hast no 
whit compassion on me ! thou dost see that I have 
been well-nigh burnt up in this furnace, and still 
thou dost wish to lead me on a parlous journey 
and fearful ; " thereat the angel touched him, and 
made him strong and whole. Anon he led him 
to a bridge, which might not be crossed without 
great peril ; for it was exceeding narrow and 
slender, and very slippery, and had no rail withal ; 
and below flowed a river terrible to see, full of 
serpents, and dragons, and sccrpions, and it sent 
forth a stench exceeding gre-t : and the angel 
said unto him : " Pass over this bridge, for 
assuredly thou needs must cross." He made 
answer : " And how can I cross it, that I fall not 
in this parlous stream ? " Ouoth the angel : 
" Walk »hou behind me, and set thy foot where 
thou shalt see that I set mine, and so shalt thou 
safely cross over." So the brother crossed over 
behind the angel, as he had instructed him, until 
he came to the middle of the bridge ; and as he 
was thus in the middle of the bridge, the angel 
flew away : and departing from him, went to the 
top of a very high mountain, far ofl^ on the other 
side of the bridge ; and the brother marked well 
the place whither the angel had flown ; but left 
behind without a guide, and looking down below, 
he saw those beasts so terrible standmg with their 
heads above the water and with open mouths, 
ready to devour him should he fall ; and he was 






S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 8i 

in such fear that he nowise knew what to do nor 

what to say ; for neither could he turn back nor 

go forward. Wherefore seeing himself in so great 

tribulation, and that he had no refuge save in God, 

he bowed himself down, and clashed the bridee 

tight, and weeping committed himself to God with 

all his heart, that of His most holy mercy He would 

succour him. And done the prayer he seemed to 

begin to put forth wings; whereat with great joy 

he waited that they should grow, so that he might 

fly from off the bridge to the place where the angel 

had flown But after some time, through the gilat 

desire he had to cross the bridge, he se? himself to 

fly, but because the wings had not yet grown 

enough he fell down on the bridge and the felthers 

dropped off: wherefore he clung again to the 

bridge, and, as at the first, committed himself to 

tnn.f u ■"' ""f ?"■»>'"• *Sain he seemed 
to put forth wings ; but, as at the first, he did not 
wait till they wer- perfectly grown ; so that, settintr 
himself to fly before the time, he fell back again 
upon the bridge and the feathers dropped off 
Wherefore seeing that he fell for the haste that he 
had to fly before the time, he began to say thus 
within himself: " Of a surety, if Ahall put forth 
wings yet the third time, I will wait until such 

without falling down again." And while he 
pondered these thoughts, he saw that for the third 
time he was putting forth wings: and waiting a 
ong time until they were well grown, it seemed 
to him that what with the first and the second 
and the third putting forth of wings, he had waited 



I i 



ri' 



fyi 



82 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

full a hundred and fifty years or more. At the 
last he rose up the third time, and with all his 
force he took his flight and flew up, even to the 
place whither the angel had flown ; and as he 
knocked at the door of the palace where the angel 
lay, the porter asked him : " Who art thou that 
comest here ? " He answered : " I am a brother 
minor." Quoth the porter : " Wait here a while, 
for I wish to bring S. Francis, for to see if he know 
thee." As he went in quest of S. Francis, the 
brother began to gaze on the marvellous walls of 
that palace : and lo ! the walls appeared trans- 
parent and of such clearness that he plainly saw 
the choirs of saints and all that passed within. 
And as he gazed upon this sigl.t in deep amaze, 
behold ! S. Francis came, and Brother Bernard, 
and Brother Giles; and after them so great a 
multitude of saints and holy women that had 
followed his ensample, that they teemed well-nigh 
without number, and having won there, S. Francis 
said to the porter : " Let him enter in, for he is 
one of my brothers." And as soon as he had 
entered, he felt such consolation and such sweet- 
ness, that straightway he forgot all the tribulations 
he had borne, as though they ne'er had been. 
And then S. Francis, leading him within, showed 
unto him many marvellous things, and thereafter 
said unto him : " My son, thou must needs 
return unto the world again, and abide therein 
seven days, in the which do thou diligently make 
thee ready with great devotion ; for, after these 
seven days, I shall come for thee, and then shalt 
thou come with me unto this place of the blessed." 






M 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



83 



Now S. Francis was arrayed in a marvellous robe, 
adorned with stars most beautiful : and his five 
stigmata were like five stars, exceeding beautiful, 
and of so great splendour that they lit up all the 
palace with their rays. And Brother Bernard had 
on his head a crown of stars most beautiful ; and 
Brother Giles was adorned with a marvellous light • 
and many other holy brothers did he recognise 
among them, whom in the world he had never seen. 
Then taking leave of S. Francis, he returned, albeit 
unwillingly, to the earth again. And when he 
awoke, returning to himself and coming to his 
senses again, the brothers were 'inging for Prime : 
so that he had not continued in that vision save 
from Matins until Prime, albeit it seemed to him 
he had continued many years. And having re- 
counted to his guardian all this vision in order, 
within the seven days he began to fall sick of a 
fever; and on the eighth day S. Francis came for 
hi cording to his promise, with a great multi- 

tude of glorious saints, and conducted his soul 
unto the Kingdom of the Blessed, to life eternal 



CHAPTER XXVII 

Hmi S. Franci, cmvirud in Bohpia two scMan, whc 
itjami hrjlhirs ; and hm thmafttr hi i,Rv,r,d on, 
»/ thimfrtm a sire ttmptatitn 

S. Francis coming on a time to the city or 
Bologna, all the people of the city ran together to 
see him; and so great was the press that scarce 
with great difficulty could the people reach the 



'■.^^_ 



!."« 1 



84 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

square; and the square being all full o* men 
and of women and of scholars, S. Francis stood 
high up in the midst of them, and began to 
preach whatsoever the Holy Spirit taught him ; 
and preached so marvellously that it seemed 
rather that an angel was preaching than a man : 
and his celestial words appeared even as sharp 
arrows piercing the hearts of them that heard 
him in such sort that in that preaching a great 
multitude of men and women were converted into 
penitence. Amone the which were two students, 
nobly born, from the March of Ancona ; and the 
one was named Pellegrino, and the other Rinieri : 
the which twain by divine inspiration touched in 
the heart through the said preaching, came to S. 
Francis, sayine that they wished wholly to abandon 
the world and be of the number of his brethren. 
Then S. Francis, knowing by revelation that they 
were sent of God, and that in the Order they would 
lead a holy life, and noting their great fervour, re- 
ceived them joyfully, laymg ; " Do thou, Pelle- 
grino, live in the Order the life of humility, and 
thou. Brother Rinieri, serve the brethren ; " and 
even so it was ; for Brother Pellegrino wished not 
to live as a priest but as a lay brother, albeit he 
was a great scholar and right learned in the canon 
law ; through the which humility he attained unto 
such great perfection of virtue, that Brother Ber- 
nard, the first-bom of S. Francis, said of him 
that he was one of the most perfect brothers in 
the world. i*nd at the last, the said Brother 
Pellegrino, full of virtue, passed from this miser- 
able life unto the life of the blessed, and wrought 





ftttammtt 
""**'***^t'ti>)ti ' ' 



tttfwur 

ftttutn 

taotrtK 

Mttfti 

Ktatmar 

Itigma.a 

p)n mCi}tu8 mttm-aa ieait 
Mfb t^ltfRftn tsu tcm))*mMiiir 
wwtwttaw If a»nfftj|i«nqt 
ft raaiatertkmua fiwrttwttnm 
tit ttme ftimu «m(nm t««H4Hr 
»n-$ «^ ttiWiJnt. (juar wtftw 










Jfi 

(p 
( 



r^'* 



i ' 



-Mft iu 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI gj 

a!;7,k'"^-"!1'b'*l°"J'" ''~"> »"'' thereafter. 
And the sad Brother Rinieri devoutly .„d ftith- 
fully served the brethren, dwelling in g^t sanct « 
and humility: and he became! franc" cl«I 
ftmilur friend. Being afterwari, mad^'minf.^r 
rf the province of thelMarch of Ancona, he ruled 
It for a long time with the utmost peace and 
discretion. A while after, God suffered Try 
gnevous tempution to arise within his soul- and 

.ffli««i"i?- '",r?">'i "^ tribulation thereby, 
afflicted himself with fasts, with scourgings, with 

Ik^^::^ f^^'"- ^'uM-- "nd night : ^ut^foraU 
that he could not nd him of that tempution ; but 
oftentimM abode in great despair, sith he deimed 
hunself thereby ab«, Joned of God. WhUe he ™ 
in »"ch d«.p.ir, a, a last remedy he minded to 
8°/° l/'V«=».. '""nkin^ thus within himself: 
IfS Francis will look kindly on me, and show 
himself mine own familiar friend, as is hi. woM 

f niTiJ "■•» S°^ '^'" ^r ^"' W °» '"•^bui 
hv^ ••'"« "^ • "8" '*"" I '•»» be abandoned 
by God. So he set out and came to S. Fnnci, 

rA°k"i!-^' '""! '*'' ?""'0"»ly »ck in the palac^ 

hfm :n ?K°P °^ ^'V l""* ^-^ "vealeTun" 
him all the manner of the temptation and the 
desp«r of the said brother RiniWi. and of hi' 
purpose and his coming. And straightway S. Fran- 
cis called Brother Leo and Brothir Mas^. 7„d 
».d unto them : " Go ye out at once to i^'t Z 

l^L L"""* '*"'" 1° ""• B^'her Rinieri, and 
embrace him on my behalf .„d salute him and 
tell him that among all the brothers that are in the 
world I love him with especial love." So they 



J 



'J 



I 



86 



THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 



went, and found Brother Rinieri on the way, and 
embraced him, saying unto him whatsoever S. 
Francis had bidden them say. Whereby such 
consolation and sweetness filled his soul that he 
was as one beside himself: and giving thanki to 
God with all his heart, he went on and came to 
the place where S. Francis lay sick. And albeit 
S. Francis was grievously sick, yet when he heard 
that Brother Rinicri was coming, he got up and 
went to meet him, and embraced him very sweetly, 
and said ; " My little son, most dear to me. 
Brother Rinieri, among all the brothers that are 
in the world, I love thee, I love thee with especial 
love." And this said, he made the sign of the 
most holy cross upon his brow, and kissed him 
thereon ; and bespake him again : " My little son, 
most dear, God hath suffered this temptation to 
assail thee for thy great gain in merit, but if thou 
no more desire this gam, then let it be." O 
marvel ! as soon as S. Francis had said these words, 
incontinent departed from him all temptation, as 
though in all his life he had felt it not a whit, 
and he remained altogether comforted. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

0/ M ititaty that camt tt Brithtr Btrnard ; wheriby hi 
abtdt from morning until Ntnn, u that of himstif hi 
wat not wan 

What great favour God oftentimes bestowed on 
the poor followers of the Gospel, who left the 
world for the love of Christ, is shown forth in 



i 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



87 



Brother Bernard of QuinUvalle, who, after he had 
taken the habit of S. Francis, was ofttimes rapt in 
imd through contemplation of heavenly things. 
Among others it befell that on a time, while he 
was m church for to hear the Mass, with his whole 
nimd uplifted unto God, he became so rapt and so 
absorbed in God that, when the Body of Christ 
was elevated, he saw nothing at all, nor kneeled 
him down, nor drew back his hood, as the others 
did ; but without movement ^f his eyes, with gare 
Jast fixed, he stood from moraing until Nones, not 
heeding aught ; and after Nones returning to him- 
self again, he went through the House crying with 
a voice of glad surprise : " O brothers! O brothers ! 
O brothers ! there is no man in this land so great 
or so nobly born who, if there were promised to 
him a beauteous palace full of gold, would not 
gladly carry a sackful of dung for to gain so noble 
a treasure." Unto this heavenly treasure, promised 
unto them that love God, th' Jiid Brother Bernard 
had his mind so upliftr^, that for fifteen years con- 
tinuously he went a -s with his mind and his 
face upraised to heav in the which time he never 
stayed his hunger at the table, though he ate of 
that which was set before him, a little : for he said 
that none could practise perfect abstinence from 
that whereof he did not taste, but true abstinence 
18 the being temperate in those things that taste 
pleasant to the mouth ; and thereby did he attain 
unto such brightness and light of intelligence, that 
even the great clerics had recourse unto him for 
the resolving of deep questions and interpreting of 
difficult passages of the Scripture; and he dissolved 



Jf «> 



% ■#*# I'V^r,*! 



88 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

every doubt for them. And because his mind wm 
wholly free and abstracted from the things of earth, 
he, like the swallows, flew high up through con- 
templation : wherefore at one time for twenty days, 
at another time for thirty days, he remained alone 
on the tops of the highest mountains, contemplat- 
ing heavenly things. For the which cause Brother 
Giles said of him that unto no other men had been 
given this gift that was given to Brother Bernard 
of Quintavallc ; to wit, that he fed flying like the 
swallows : and for this excellent grace that he re- 
ceived of God, S. Francis right willingly spake with 
him oftentimes by day and night : whereby were 
they sometimes found together rapt in God the 
whole night long in the wood, wherein they twain 
had met to speak of God together. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

Hsw the dniil appeared many times untt Bralher Ruffint in 
the firm of the Crucified, telling him that all the gaod 
he did was lost, since he was not among those elect to 
Ufi eternal. Whereof S, Francis was ware through 
revelation from God, and made Brother Ruffino to know 
his error in lending credence thereto 

Brother Ruffino, one of the most noble citizens 
of Assisi and a companion of S. Francis, a man 
of great sanctity, was on a time most grievously 
assailed and tempted in his soul, in respect of pre- 
destination ; whereby he became altogether melan- 
choly and sad ; for the devil put it into his heart 
that he was damned and was not of those pre- 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 89 

destined to eternal life; .nd that all that he did 
m the Order was lost. And this temptation con- 
tinuing day by day, he for shame told it not to 
b. Krancis, yet ceased not to observe the wonted 
prayers and fasts : wherefore the enemy began to 
heapon him sorrow upon sorrow, over and above 
the battle within, assaulting him also from without 
with lying apparitions. Wherefore on a time he 
appeared to him in the form of the Crucified, and 

Tffl- T,^""i, "° ^'■°"'" '*"«"°- ^^y dost thou 
afflict thyself in penance and in prayer, seeing that 

fw--^ »" "°' .""""S those predestined to eTernal 
lifei' and believe me that I know whom I have 
elected and predestined, and believe not the son of 
Peter Bernardoni, if he tell thee the contrary, nor 
question him concerning this matter, for neither he 
nor others know, save I alone, who .m the Son of 
trod : wherefore believe me of a surety that thou 
art of the number of the damned : and the son of 
Feter Berrardoni, thy Father, and also his father 
are damned and whoso follows him is led astray " 
And said these words. Brother Ruffino began to 
be ,0 ovei^hadowed by the prince of darknels that 
he lost all the faith and love he had had for S 
Fninci,, and took no are to tell him aught thereof 
But that which Brother Ruffino did not tell the 

wherefore S Francis, seeing i„ .pirft the great 
danger of the said brother, sent Brother M^sTeo 

chiding Iy_: '-What have I to do with Brother 
trancis? Then Brother Masseo, all filled with 
divine wisdom, perceiving the deception of the 



'. "l\ 






m 



'it ■ ' 



90 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

devil, said : "O Brother Ruffino, knowest thou not 
that Brother Francis is as an angel of God, who 
hath enlightened so many souls in the world, and 
through whom we have received the grace of God? 
wherefore I will that thou by all means come with 
me to him ; for I clearly see that hou art deceived 
by the devil." And this said. Brother Ruffino 
arose and went to S. Francis, and S. Francis seeing 
him coming from afar off, began to cry out : " O 
thou miserable Brother Ruffino, in whom hast thou 
believed ? " And when Brother Ruffino was come 
up to him, S. Francis recounted to him in order all 
the temptation that he had had of the devil within 
and without, and showed him clearly that what had 
appeared to him was the devil and not Christ, and 
that he ought in no wise toconsent unto his prompt- 
ings: "But when the devil should say to thee again: 
' Thou art damned,' do thou answer : ' Open thy 
mouth, for I fain would void on thee,' and this 
shall be to thee the sign that he is the devil and 
not Christ ; for as soon as thou shalt give him this 
answer, he will 6ee away incontinent. Moreover by 
this token shouldst thou have known that he was 
the devil and not Christ, in that he hardened thy 
heart to all goodness, the which thing is his own 
proper office ; but Christ, the blessed One, never 
hardeneth the heart of the faithful, nay, rather He 
softeneth it, as He saith by the mouth of the pro- 
phet : ' I will take away the stony heart and I will 
give you a heart of flesh.' " Then Brother Ruffino, 
seeing that S. Francis told him in order all the 
manner of his temptation, touched to the heart by 
his words, began to weep Utterly, and fell down 



P 1 I 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 5, 

in having kept hi, temptation hidden. And thus 
he abode altogether consoled and comforted by 
the admonishments of the holv fathrr ,nH ^k 11 
changedforthebetter. Then'at ^,"5 Fr^^ ^ 
said unto him: "Go, my little son, and shr veX 
and relax not the zeal of thy wonted prayers -and 
know of a surety that this temptation^will W„k to 
slu?;:"' P™*^' ?",^ consolation, and very sToft y 
halt thou prove it." So Brother Ruffino returned 
to his cell m the wood, and continuing in p" yer 

irtlX':n'Tc^?'°''' ''-""^"y"- '°^" 
?J A \° ^*'"''' "' '° outward semblance 

toH ?k"* '°k'"'".= " ° ^'°'^" R"«n°. have I noi 
ofPet^rnl " *i""; '''°"''^'" "°' believe the son 
of Peter Bernardoni, nor shouldest weary thyself in 

matl'th''?^"^^ '"" "'°" »« d-ned" 
ali^ and ,i •'"S' ""I' '° '^'" thyself while yet 
alive, and then when thou shalt die thou wilt be 

damned?" And straightway Brother Ruffinrmade 
anawer to the devil : « Open thy mouth, for I ffm 
wouM void on thee." Wher4 the devil Ltg 
exceeding wroth, gat him away incontinent \^"h 
30 funous a tempest and shaking of the rockTof 
Mount SuUssio. which was hard by, that the loud 
no.se of the rocks that fell down lasted a g^t 
while; and so furiously did they strike the Me 
against the other a, they rolled down, that the 
val ey was lit up with horrible flashea of fire and 
at the terrible din that they made, S. Francis and 
his companions oime out of the House, "n ««t 
amazement, for to see what strange thine had be- 
fallen ; and still to this day is see^„ that fxc^bg 



* Hx. 



r 

) . 



|U|; 



mi 



9» THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

greit ruin of rocks. Then Brother Ruffino knew 
of a surety that it had been the devil that had 
deceived him. And going back to S. Francis, he 
threw himself again upon the ground, and confessed 
his fault; and S. Francis comforted him with sweet 
words, and sent him back full of consolation to 
his cell, wherein as he was most devoutly praying, 
there appeared to him Christ, the blessed One, and 
rekindled all his soul with love divine, and said : 
"Thou hast done well, my son, to believe in 
Brother Francis, for he that made thee sad was the 
devil : but I am Christ thy Master ; and to make 
thee sure thereof, I give thee this sign: Whilst thou 
dost live, thou shalt no more feel sadness nor melan- 
choly." And this said, Christ departed, leaving 
him in such gladness and sweetness of spirit and 
rplifting of the mind, that day and night he was 
absorbed and rapt in God. And from that time 
forth he was so strengthened in grace and in cer- 
tainty of his salvation, that he became altogether 
changed into another man ; and would have con- 
tinued day and night in prayer and in contempla- 
tion of the things of God, if the others had suffered 
him. Wherefore S. Francis said of him: that 
Brother Ruflino was in this life canonised by Christ, 
and that, save in his presence, he would not doubt 
to call him S. Ruffino, albeit he was still alive on 
orth. 



i 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 93 

CHAPTER XXX 

Ofth. b,ntifi,l „rm>. . pre„ch,d in A„i,i h $. Pranci, 
ami Brothir Ruffin,. ' 

The aforesaid Brother Ruffino, through continual 
contemplafon, was so absorbed in G^od,°hat he 
became as u were insensible and dumb, spake but 
seldom, and therewithal had neither he gift of 
preachms. nor boldness nor eloquence therein • 
nevertheTes, S. Francis on a timelade him Jo "o 
ASS.S. and preach to the people whats^"er^G<S 
m ght mspire h,m withal. Wherefore Broth^ 
Ruffino answered : " Reverend father, I pray thee 
p«don me and send me not ; for, as thou wottest 
I have not the gift of preaching, but am simple 
and .gnorant." Then quoth S. &Wncis "'S 

h!^ km" ^V^°■' °'*y"' incontinent, I commanf 
thee by holy obedience that thou get thee to As^ri 
naked as thou wast born, save in thy breeched 
only, and enter into a church and preacrunto 
the people." At this command, the Lid Brother 
Ruffino stnpped himself and went to Assisi aLd 

ntered mto a chureh. and having done reverence 
to the altar went up into the pulpit and began to 
preach ; for the which cause the children aS the 

Tow.^^^'Vm '""§''' ""'' ^''•^ "Now look you 
how these fellows do so much penance that they 
become fools and are beside themselves." Mea^! 
time, S Francis, bethinking him of the ready obedi- 
ence of Brother Ruffino. the which was one ofthe 
most noble gentles of Assisi. and of the hard com! 



^m^m^^zM^ 









Hi;' 



'il^ 






94 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

mandment he had hid upon him, began to chide 
himself.saying: "Whence comes to thee such bold- 
ness, thou son of Peter Bernardoni, vile wretch, to 
command Brother Ruffino, that is one of the most 
noble gentles of Assisi, to go and preach to the 
people like a madman ? By God, thou shalt have 
proof m thine own self of what thou biddest others 
do. And straightway in fervour of spirit he 
stripped himself in like fashion, and set out for 
Assisi, and took with him Brother Leo to carry 
his habit and that of Brother Ruffino. And the 
folk of Assisi beholding him in the self-same guise, 
made mock of him, deeming that he and Brother 
Kuffino hadgrown mad throughovermuch penance. 
S. Francis entered into the church where Brother 
Kuffino was preaching these words : " Dearly be- 
loved, flee from the world and put away sin ; render 
to othen their due, if ye would escape from hell • 
follow the commandments of God, in lovine God 
and your neighbour, if ye would go to heaven- 
do penance, if ye would possess the kingdom of 
neaven. Then S. Francis went up into the pulpit 
and began to preach so marvellously of the cin- 
tempt of the world, of holy penitence, of voluntary 
poverty, and of the desire of the kingdom of 
heaven, and of the nakedness and shame of the 
passion of our Lord Jesu Christ, that all they that 
heard the preaching, men and women in great 
multitude, began to weep most bitteriy with devout 
and contrite hearts ; and not there alone, but in 
all Assisi was there t lat day such weeping for the 
passion of Chnst, that never had there leen the 
nice. And the people being thuswise edified and 



N 






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[11. 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 95 

contorted by this act of S. Fmncis .nd Brother 
Kuffino, S. Francis re-clad Brother Ruffino and 
himself; and so re-clad, they returned to the House 
of Fortiuncul,*, praising and glorifying God, that 
li»d given them grace to overcome themselves, by 
the contempt.of themselves, and to edify the little 
sheep of Christ by good example, and to show how 
greatly the world is to be despised. And on that 
day so much did the devotion of the people towards 
them mcrease, that he deemed himself blessed 
whoso could touch the hem of their garment. 



CHAPTER XXXI 

Hnu S. Franci, W th, utrii, ,J th, anuincti ,f 
all Ah bruhtr! in crJir. 

EvEM as our Lord Jesu Christ says in the Gospel • 
1 know my sheep, and am known of mine • " 
even so the blessed father S. Francis, like a goid 
shepherd, knew by divine revelation all the nierits 
«nd the virtues of his companions, and in like 
manner their faults also. For the which cause he 
knew how to provide the best remedy for each to 
wit, humbling the proud, and exalting the humble • 
reprovina vice, and praising virt- e; even as we 
read in the wondrous revelations that he had con- 
cerning his first family. Among the which we find 
that on a time when S. Francis was with the said 
ttmily in a certain House dUcoursing of God 
Brother Ruffino not being with them during thii 
discourse but rapt in contemplation in the wood • 



1L4 



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96 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

while they continued thus to discourse of God, 
behold Brother Ruflino came from out the wood 
»nd passed by at a stone's throw from them. Then 
S.Francis, beholding him, turned to his companions, 
and asked them, saying : " Whom think ye to be 
the holiest soul God hath in the world ? " And 
they answering him, said that they thought it was 
his own ; and S. Francis said unto them : " My 
brothers most dear to me, I am of myself the most 
unworthy and vile wretch that God hath in this 
world, but mark ye Brother Ruffino yonder, that 
hath now come from out the wood ? God hath re- 
vealed •- unto me that his soul is one of the three 
most hoi y souls in all the world : and in very sooth 
I tell you that I doubt not to call him Saint Ruffino 
in his lifetime, sith his soul is so strengthened in 
grace, and sanctified and canonised in heaven, by 
our Lord Jesu Christ ;" but these words S. Francis 
never spake in the presence of the said Brother 
Ruffino. In like manner, how S. Francis knew the 
faults of his brothers, is clearly seen in the case of 
Brother Eiias, whom he ofttimes reproved for his 
pride ; and of Brother John of the Chapel, to whom 
he foretold that he would hang himself by the 
throat ; and of that brother, whom the devil held 
fast by the throat when he was chid for disobedi- 
ence; and of many other brothers, whose secret 
faults and virtues he clearly knew through the 
revelation of Christ. 



m 



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S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



97 



CHAPPER XXXII 

Hm Jr«A,r JU„!», .itoW ,/C/,ri,t th, virtu, 
'fhu humility 

The first companions of S. Francis strove with >]| 

ne.r might to be poor in the things of thr world 

r^oThe'f ''""t'' '^""Sh the wfich m„ «« n 

to ^k of C^^ "^ ""'"8 8"'"'"'' '°g«l>« 

or Uod and h.d great grace in the active and con- 
templative hfe, and therewithal had such exce°d- 
mg deep humility that he deemed himself the 
P«t«tof sinnen: the which humility did „nctfy 
him and strengthen him in grace and ma ■ h m 
^tmually^grow in virtufTnd !n thTgi^f^f 
God Md suflered him never to fall into sin.^ Now 
Brother Masseo hearing such marvellous thinw 
touching humility, andlcnowing full well that !! 
was a treasure of etenul life. £g.„ tot .o n- 
flimed with love and deaire for this virtue of 
humility, that with great fervour lifting up w" f.» 
to heaven he made a vow and firm r«olve ncv" 

»s he should feel this virtue in his soul in all 
perfectness; and from thenceforward he Je 

tifying hi, body with ftsts, and vigils, and prayer., 
o? hT™ ^l"^ "ceedingly before d*od, for to ob^tab 
of Him this virtue, without the which he deemed 

o 






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98 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

him worthy of hell, and wherewith that friend of 
God, of whom he had heard, had been so richly 
dowered. And as Brother Masseo continued for 
many days in this desire, it befell on a day that he 
went into the wood, and in fervour of spirit passed 
through it with tears and cries and sighmg, calling 
with fervent desire on God for this heavenly virtue ; 
and for that God gladly heareth the prayers of 
humble contrite souls, while Brother Masseo was 
in this case, there came a voice from heaven that 
called him twice : " Brother Masseo, Srother 
Masseo." And he knowing in spirit that it was 
the voice of Christ, answered : " Speak, Lord." 
And Christ said unto him : " What wouldest thou 
give, for to gain the grace thou askest for ? " 
Replied Brother Masseo : " Lord, I would give the 
eyes of my head." And Christ said unto him : 
" And it is My will that thou have the grace and 
thine eyt» also." And this said, the vrace ceased, 
and Brother Masseo remained so filled with the 
grace of the virtue of humility he had longed for, 
and of the light of God, that from thenceforward 
he was always joyful and glad ; and ofttimes, when 
he prayed, he would break forth into sounds of joy, 
coomg like a dove, U U U ; and he abode thus in 
contemplation with a cheerful countenance and a 
merry heart ; and therewithal, having become ex- 
ceeding humble, he deemed himself the least of all 
men upon earth. When Brother Jacques of Fal- 
lerone asked him why in his song of joy he never 
changed his note, he blithely answered him, that 
when one thing brings us full content, there is no 
need to change the note. 



Ill 
111 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



99 



C"\PTER XXXIII 

Ucv, S. Clan, at th bidding of the P>pi, bhsud th, brad 
that was <m thi tabU : so that on niry loafatpiarid 
thi itgn oftht holy Cross ' J rr 

S. Clare, the most devout disciple of the Cross 
of Christ and noble plant of S. Francis, was of 
such sanctity, that not only the bishops and the 
cardinals, but the Pope likewise ardently desired 
to see and hear her, and ofttimes visited her in 
person. Among other times, the holy Father 
came on a time to her convent to hear her speak 
of things celesiial and divine ; and as they thus 
discoursed together on diverse matters, S. Clare 
in the meantime let make ready the tables, and set 
the bread thereon, that the holy Father might 
bless It. So when their spiritual discourse was 
ended, S. Clare, kneeling down with great rever- 
ence, besought him that he would be pleased to 
blest the bread set on the uble. Replied the holy 
Father : " Sister Clare, most faithful, I desire that 
thou bless this bread and make thereon the sign 
of the most holy Cross of Christ, to whom thou 
hast wholly given thyself." Quoth S. Clare- 
"Most holy Father, pardon me, seeing that I 
should be deserving of much blame, if I, that am 
a poor, vile woman, should take on me to give 
this blessing, before the Vicar of Christ." And 
the Pope replied: "To the end that this may 
not be imputed to presumption but to the merit 
of Tbedience, I command thee by holy obedience 




ll I 



loo THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

that thou make the sign of the most holy Cross 
on this bread, and bless it in the name of God." 
Then S. Clare, like a true daughter of obedience, 
most devoutly blessed those loaves with the sign 
of the most holy Cross. O marvel ! incontinent 
on all those loaves appeared the sign of the Cross 
impressed most fair to see : then of those loaves, 
part were eaten, and part for the miracle's sake 
were put aside. And the holy Father, when he 
had beheld the miracle, took of the said bread, and 
giving thanks to God, departed, leaving S. Clare 
with his blessing. Now at that time there dwelt 
in the convent Sister Ortolana, the mother of S. 
Clare, and Sister Agnes, her sister, they twain to- 

f ether with S. Clare, full of virtue and of the Holy 
pirit, and many other holy nuns ; to whom S. 
Francis sent many sick persons ; and they by their 
prayers and the sign of the most holy Cross re- 
stored them all to health. 



III. 



CHAPTER XXXIV 

Iftw S Lculi, King if Franci, uint in fn-im, in thi gniu 
of a pilgrim, tc Pirugia fir It viiit ihi hth Bnthtr 
Glut 

S. Louis, King of France, went on a pilgrimage 
to visit the holy places throughout the world; 
and hearing the exceeding great fame of the sanc- 
tity of Brother Giles, the which had been among 
the first companions of S. Francis, he set it in 
his heart and was fully purposed to visit him in 



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S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



lOI 



pniion ; for the which cause he came unto Perugia 
whffe m those day. the said Brother Giles dw! t' 
And coming up to the door of the House of the 
brothers, like a poor pilgrim and unknown whh 

for Brother Giles, without telling the porter who 
« was that asked. So the portefwent w Brod^er 

fhl I /f ''* i"-"" """ " '''« ''°°'- "" > pilgrim 
that asked for him : and being inspired of Gcd k 
was revealed to him that it was^he King of France 
so straightway with great fervour he left hTs cell 

rinl"" "Ik!-' i°°'' """^ '^*''°« f-rther qu». 
«onmg albeit they ne'er before had seen\ach 
other^ kneeling down with great devotion thev 
^ibraced and kissed each otL, with such sS 
^tender love as though for long time they fad 
b^n close familiar friends : but it all Zjt^y 

Tu^ ■ Vk"' "1! ""^ "°^ '^' °"'«'. •>« con- 
tinued in this embrace, with these sign, of love 

flTiT' '-"u'""'.^ "«"'•" '" 'he mann^ set 
forth above without having spoken together, thev 
parted the one from the Mher. and S^Louis went 
hi. way on his journey, and Brother Giles re- 
turned unto his cell. When the king was g^fa 

i?w« tr,''t^"'"'u°" "'■ '''' "-"VnionTw^ho 
t was that had embraced Brother Sles for so 
long time ; and he replied that it was Louis, King 
of France, who had come for to see Brother Giles 
When this he told to the other brothers, they 
were exceedmg sorrowful for that Brother Gil«i 
^poken never a word to him : and murmuring 
tilereat, they said to hmi : " O Brother Giles, why 




i 

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I 

II, 



102 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

hast thou shown thee so discourteous as to say 
naught at all to so holy a king that had come 
from France to see thee and hear from thy lips 
good words." Replied Brother Giles: "Dear 
brothers, marvel not thereat, for neither I to him 
nor he to me could speak a word ; sith so soon 
as we embraced each other, the light of heavenly 
wisdom revealed and showed to me his heart, and 
mine to him, and thus through divine working, 
each looking on the other's heart, we knew what 
I would say to him and he to me, far better than 
if we had spoken with our mouths, and with more 
consolation than if we had sought to show forth 
in words the feelings of our hearts. Through the 
weakness of human speech, that cannot express 
clearly the secret mysteries of God, it would 
have left us all disconsolate rather than consoled ; 
wherefore know ye that the king departed from 
me with marvellous content and consolation in 
his soul." 



CHAPTER XXXV 

Hnu S. Cuirt, ktirtg sick, was minmihus/y carriij, <« tht 
nighl if Chriitmas Evi, la tht church cfS. Fraiuii ami 
there heard the vgice 

It befell on a time that S. Clare was grievously 
uck, so that she could not go at all to say the 
office in church with the other nuns ; when the 
feast of the Nativity of Christ '...me round, all 
the others went to Matins : but she remained in 



IS 



r-^^^-iy 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 103 

her bed ill-content, for that she could not go 
with the others and partake of that spiritual con- 
solation. But Jesu Christ, her spouse, desiring 
not to leave her thus disconsolate, caused her 
to be miraculously carried to the church of S. 
Francis and to be present at the whole of the 
office of Matins and the midnight Mass, and be- 
yond all this to receive the Holy Communion 
and then be earned back to her bed. When the 
nuns came back to S. Clare, after the office in S. 
Damian s was over, they said to her : " O our 
mother, Sister Clare, what sweet consolation have 
we had on this holy feast of the Nativity ' oh 
would that it had pleased God that you had' 
been with us there!" And S. Clare replied: 
' lYaise and glory do I give unto our Lord Jesu 
Chnst, the blessed One, my asters and daughters 
most dear; for that with much consolation to 
my soul I have had part in all the solemn rites of 
this most holy night, and even more than ye- 
Mth through the loving care of my father, S. 
Francis, and the grace of our Lord Jesu Christ, 
I have been present in the church of my vener- 
able fcther, S. Francis, and with the ears of my 
body and my mind have heard all the office and 
the sound of the organs that was made there, and 
in the same place have taken the most holy Com- 
munion. Wherefore for such grace bestowed 
upon me rejoice and give thanks to our Lord 
Jesu Christ. 



104 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 



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CHAPTER XXXVI 

Htui S. Francit ut firth mtt Bnthir La a fair 
drmm that he had um 

It befell on .time that S. Francis was grievously 
sick and Brother Leo did him servicer the said 
Brother Leo, whilst praying dose to S. Francis, 
was rapt m ecstasy, and borne in spirit to a 
mighty nver, broad and rushing furiously. And 
as he stood there for to see who crossed over it 
he beheld certain brothers enter into the river' 
with loads upon their back ; the which were 
straightway thrown down by the force of the 
stream and were drowned; but certain others 
went as far as a third of the way over; others 
as far as the middle of the stream ; some nearl^ 
tc the other bank ; but in the end they all feU 
down and were drowned. Seeing this, Brother 
1-eo had exceeding great compassion on them- 
and meanwhile lo ! there came suddenly a ereat 
multitude of brothers that had on their baclu no 
load or burden of any kind and the light of holy 
poverty shone upon them ; and they entered into 
the stream and passed over without any peril • 
and when he had seen this. Brother Leo Mme 
back to himself again. Then S. Francis perceiv- 
ing m spirit that Brother Uo ha*- seen a vision, 
called him unto him and questioned him concem- 
me what he had seen : and whenas Brother Leo 
had told him all the vision in order, quoth S 
Francis: "That which thou hast seen is true 



Va I 



'wtw^rmr^ww' 





M ^j 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,05 

lilt 5"^ "Z" ■« this world; the brothers thit 

Tm t^rr u" "" "J" "* ""^y »••« """lined 
not true to their profesaon of the gospel life 
and chief above all to that of the deepew pover y : 
but they that without peril passed o^ L th<^' 

«ught that IS earthly or carnal, but being temper- 

^?1h^^ 5"'- ?*''"' "/"" *' "°»: »nd with 
Cn H "8''',e°°^ «'i" do they bear the 
burden and sweet yoke of Christ and of most holy 

Kml'j'lv"'^'^-;''^'' P™ ^'"^ '^ f™™ 
tnis temporal life to life eternal." 

CHAPTER XXXVII 

Hm/.m Chrhl, th. iU,«d On., at ,h. pra,,r ./ S 

S. Francis, the servant of Christ, coming late one 
cvemjy to the house of a greaj ge"t^m'^and 

K"l'„rK- ««''«'».°' Wm to^lodge therein! 
both he and his compamon, as if they were angeli 
of God. with exceeding great courtesy and de- 
votion: for the which cause S. Frwicis was great^ 
touched with love for him. bethinking him Cat 

k^lHT"^'"'° ','"''°"'' •" ^'^ embraced Ld 
kissed them lovingly, and then had washed the^ 

Kndf^ ."'P*' anl humbly kissed them, and had 
kindled a great fire and made ready the table with 
much good food, and whilst they^te! T^t^ 



#»^*. 



#4-J^'*f^ 



1 06 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

them always with a joyful countenance. Now, 
when that S. Francis and his companion had eaten, 
this gentleman said : " Behold, my father, I offer 
to thee myself and all my goods ; so oft as ye have 
need of tunic or mantle or aught beside, buy them 
and I will pay for them ; and behold, I am ready 
to provide your every need, since by the grace of 
God am I able, seeing that I abound in all temporal 
goods ; and therefore, for the love of God, that 
hath given them me, I dogood unto His poor right 
willingly." Whereby S. I^ancis, seeing in him such 
gentle courtesy and loving-kindness, and so liberal 
an offering, conceived in his heart such love towarda 
him, that departing thence he said to his companion 
on the way : " Of a truth this courteous gentle- 
man would be good for our order and our company, 
the which is so grateful and bounden unto God, 
and so lovine ana courteous to his neighbour and 
the poor. Know, dear brother, that courtesy is 
one of the qualities of God Himself, who, of His 
courtesy, giveth His sun and His rain to the just 
•nd the unjust : and courtesy is the sister of charity, 
the which quencheth hate and keepeth love alive. 
Because I have seen such divine virtue in this good 
man, fain would I have him as my companion ; 
and therefore I desire that one day we return to 
him again, if { trchance God may have touched his 
heart to desire to go about with us in the service 
of God ; and in this mean time let us pray to God 
to put this desire within his heart, and give him 
grace .0 bring the same to good effect." O 
wondrous thing ! a few days after that S. Francis 
had made this prayer, God put this desire into the 



M' > 



■fdpa 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 107 

h«»rt of th»t gentlemm : and quoth S. Francis to 
his companion : " Let us go, my brother, to the 
house of that courteous gentiemar ; for that I have 
sure hope in God that with the same courtesy as 
he hath in temporal things he will give himself up 
to us and will become our companion ; " so they 
gat them on their way. And when they drew 
near unto his house, S. Francis said to his com- 
panion : " Wait here for me a little while, for I 
fam would first pray to God that He may prosper 
our journey; that Jesu Christ may be pleased to 
grant us, weak and poor though we be, the noble 
prey that we mind to snatch from the wwld, 
through the virtue of His most holy passion." 
And this said, he set himself to pray in a place 
where he could be seen by the said courteoi-s 
gentleman ; whereby, sith it was the will of God, 
« he was looking hither and thither, he beheld 
S. Francis praying most devoutly before Christ, 
who with a great brightness appeared to him in 
Uw afOTesaid prayer and stood before him ; and the 
iTOile he saw S. Francis for some good space ui>- 
lifted bodily from off the earth. For the which 
ouac he was so touched and inspired of God to 
leave the world, that incontinent he came forth 
out of his palace and ran towards S. Francis I and 
coming up to him as he was at prayer, he kneeled 
down at his feet, and with exceeding great fervour 
and devotion besought him that it would please 
him to receive him and to do penance together with 
rX j^'"*" ^- F""<:'». •eeine his prayer was heiid 

k- ' '""^ '*■*' '*'*' ^^'"^ ^' himself desired, 
this gentleman was begging for most earnestly, 



^f:.V'F?^'« 



io8 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

lifted him up, «nd in fervour tnd glidness of spirit 
embraced and kisied him, devoutly giving thanks 
to God, who had added so worthy a knight unto 
his company. And quoth that gentleman to S. 
Francis : " What dost thou bid me do, my Father ? 
Lo ! I am ready to do thy bidding and give to the 
poor whatsoever I possess, and thus disSurthened 
of all temporal things, to follow Christ with thee." 
And even so he did, according to the counsel of 
S. Francis, distributing all that he had to the poor, 
and entered into the Order, and lived in great 
penitence and holiness of life and upright con- 
versation. 

CHAPTER XXXVIII 

Hmi S. Francis inno in spirit that Bnthtr Elias tiwi 
damnid, and wtuld dii outsidt ihi Ordir ; uihirtfrri 
at tht suppScatiin tf Brtthtr Eiias, h» prapd u Christ 
fir him, and his firaytr was htard 

It befell on a time while S. Francis and B'.-other 
Eliaa were dwelling together in the same House, 
that it was revealed of God untoS. Francis that 
Brother Elias was damned and would fall away 
from the Order, and in the end die outside the 
Order. For the which cause S. Francis took so 
strong a displeasure asainst him that he nor spake 
nor held converse with him ; and if at any time it 
befell that Brother Elias came towards him, he 
would turn aside and go another way, so that he 
might not meet him ; wherefore Brother Klias began 
to see and to understand that S. Francis was dis- 
pleased with him : so, desiring to know the reason 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



109 



thereof, he drew near to S. Francij for tc speak 

Si!^K "I?.*"''-'''''" ^- ''""°' '°"K''t to shun 
Brother Elu«, m courteous wise he det»ir.-d him 
by force and b««.n with modesty to pray him to 
be plnsed to show to him the reason why he thut- 
wise thunned his company and to have speech with 
liinj. And S. Franos answered him : " The reason 
IS this; since it hath been revealed to me by God 
that thou for thy sins wilt fall away from the Order 
and die outside the Order, and also hath God re- 
VMled to me that thou art damned." Hsarine 
this, Brother Elias spake thus to him: "Mv 
reverend father, I pray thee for the love of J«u 
Lhnst that thou shun me not on this account nor 
drive me from thee, but like a good shepherd, 
following the example of Christ, seek out the sheep 
that needs must perish if thou help it not, and 
take It to thyself again; and pray unto God for 
me, that, if ,t be possible. He may revoke the 
jentence of my damnation ; for it is written that 
God lets chanBe the sentence, if the sinner amends 
his tin: and I have so great faith in thy prayers 
that, were I in the midst of hell and thou wert to 
pray to God for me, I should feel some sweet relief • 
wherefOTe agam I pray thee to commend me, poo^ 
tinner, unto God, who came into the world to save 
sinner, that He may receive me into His merey." 
And this did Brother Elias speak with much de- 
votion and tear. : so that S. Francis, like a pi,yi„a 
father, promised him to pray to God for him, ar3 
even so 1-e did. And a. with exceeding great de- 
votion he prayed to God for him. he TeSrned by 
revelation that his prayer was heard of God, as 



no THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

touching the wntence of damnation on Brother 
Elias, so that at the last hit soul would not be 
damned ; but that ot a surety he would leare the 
Order, and outside the Order he would die ; and 
even so it came to pasi. For Frederick, King of 
Sicily, having rebellol against the Church and being 
excommunicated by the Pope (both he and whoso 
gave him aid and counsel), — the said Brother Elias, 
the which was accounted one of the most learned 
men in the world, being called by the said King 
Frederick, joined himself unto him, and became a 
rebel against the Church and an apostate from the 
Order : for the which cause was he excommuni- 
cated by the Pope and the habit of S. Francis taken 
from him. And while he thus was excommunicate 
and grievously sick, one of his brethren, a lay 
brother, the which had remained within the Order 
and was a man of good and virtuous life, hearing 
of his sickness, came to visit him, and among other 
things bespake him thus : " My brother, most dear, 
much doth it grieve me that thou art excommuni- 
cate and outcast from thine Order, and that thus- 
wise thou shouldest die : but if thou dost see or 
way or manner by the which I may pluck thee out 
of this peril, right gladly would I take all manner 
of pains for thee." Replied Brother Eliai : " My 
brother, I see no other way save that thou get thee 
to the Pope, and pray him for the love of God 
and of S. Francis, His servant, through whose ad- 
monishments I left the world, to absolve ma from 
his excommunication, and sive back to me again 
the habit of Religion." Then said that brother 
that right gladly would he do his best endeavours 



I. 



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M9^» %,■■ 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI m 

for ha atlTition : ind depming from him, he eat 
him to the feet of the holy Pope, humbly beteecb- 
ing him to pudon bit brother, for the love of 
Christ ind of S. Fruicis, Hi» lenrtnt And aith 
It wn God's good pleMure, the Pope granted him 
k»Te to go back again, and if he found Brother 
Ellas alive, absolve him, in his name, from the ex- 
communication and give the habit back to him 
again. Wherefore he set out right joyously, and 
in great haste returned to Brother Elias, and found 
him still alive, but well-nigh at the point of death, 
and so he absolved him from the excommunica- 
tion; and putting on the habit again. Brother 
Ehaa passed from out this life, and his soul was 
saved through the merits of S. Francis and through 
his prayer, in the which Brother Elias had set such 
lively hope. 






CHAPTER XXXIX 

Oftht mmrvMia itrmm that thi Brtthtr Mimar, S. JnHmj 
rfPtibui, frimtM in Ihi anthltrj 

That marvellous vessel of the Holy Spirit, S. 
Antony of Pidua, one of the chosen disciples and 
the companion of S. Francis, whom S. Fnads 
oiled his vicar, preached on a time in the con- 
(ittory before the Pope and the cardinals, in the 
which consistory were men of diverse nations, to 
wit, Greeks, Latins, French, Germans snd Slavs, 
and English, and of other diverse languages of 
the world ; and being kindled by the HolySpiri^ 
he set forth to them the word of God so forcibly, 



e-"fje-m 





112 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

so devoutly, so subtly, so sweetly, so clearly, and 
so learaedly, that all they that were in the con- 
sistory, albeit they were of diverse languages, full 
clearly understood his every word, as distinctly as 
if he had spoken in the language of each one of 
them ; and they were all amazed, and it seemed 
as though that ancient miracle of the Apostles 
at the time of Pentecost had been renewed, the 
which through the virtue of the Holy Spirit spake 
in every tongue; and they spake together one 
with the other marvelling : " Is he not of Spain, 
this preacher? and how then do we all hear in 
his speech the language of our countries ? " The 
Pope in like manner pondering and marvelling at 
the deep meaning of his words, said : " Of a 
truth, this man is the ark of the Testament and 
the armoury of Holy Writ." 



CHAPTER XL 

Ofthi miracU which Gidtormght whtn 5. Antony^ bring 
at Rimini, prtachid to thi Jishis if the tta 

Thb blessjd Christ, desiring to set forth the great 
sanctity of his most faith^l servant, S. Antony, 
with what devotion men should give ear unto his 
preaching and his holy doctrine, once on a time, 
amongst others, reproved the folly of the infidel 
heretics by means of the animals that have no 
reason, to wit, by the fishes, even as in old time in 
the Old Testament he had reproved the ignorance 
of Balaam by the mouth of the ass. Wherefore 



:'nmBBmm'^ij^jn r • ^ w^"jn.^dy^yfi\ 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,,3 

« day S. Antony being in Rimini, where was great 

toT7 t fT'' '^"'?"8 to bring them lack 
to the light of the true faith and to the path of 
virtue, preached unto them for many days, and 
disputed of the faith of Christ and of the Holy 
Scripture : but they not only gave no consent unto 
his holy words but therewithal, as men hardened 

Inspired of God, S. Antony went one day to the 

TT''^ t"^ ^^ ""= "" : "«• "'"ding thus upon 
the bank betwixt the river and the set, began to 
•peak after the manner of a preacher sent by God 
unto the fishes : " Hear the word of God, O Z 
fishes of the sea and of the river, since the infi/el 
heretics refuse to hear it." And when he had 
^K^l!"^^"' »°"''«"'h there came unto him to 
InH „w''K.'"""""''f °^ ^'hes, great and small 
th.t r" K^T""' "■" """■■ '" 'hat sea nor in 
that river had been seen so great a multitude ; and 

In ''t^'"''* "P '^"' ''"'^' 'hove the water and 
„n, ^ "tentive towards the face of S. Antony, 
°"h • V ■'"^'""''' S.'"" P^»" ""'1 gentleness and 
^, ,™ !?■■ "'A°"' l"^ !"°" '-"'eh the bank stood 
the smaller fish, and behind them stood the fish of 
t^li '■". f"«her behind where deeper water was 
the greater fishes stood. Therewith the fishes being 
thuswise set in order and array, S. Antony began 
solemnly ,0 preach, and so st«ke : " My brothers 
the fish, much are ye bounden so far as in ye lies 
give thanks to our Creator, who hath given you 
so noble an element for your abode; in such sort 
that „ It pieaseth you, ye have sweet waters and 
salt; and hath given you many a refuge to escape 



M fv 



114 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

the storms withal: nay more, hath given you a 
clear, translucent element, and food by the which 
ye may live. God, your kind and bountiful Creator, 
when He created you, gave you commandment to 
increase and multiply, and poured on you His 
blessing: then whenas the deluge came and one 
and all the other beasts all died, you alone did God 
keep safe from harm. Moreover hath He given 
you fins that ye may roam where'er ye please. To 
you the grace was given, by God's command, to 
save the prophet Jonah, and after the third day 
to throw him safe and whole upon the land. Ye 
brought the tribute-money to our Lord Jesu Christ, 
who was so poor, He had not aught to pay. Ye 
were the food of the eternal King, Jesu Christ, be- 
fore the Resurrection and thereafter, through a 
mystery wondrous rare ; for all the which things 
much are ye bound to bless and praise God, who 
hath given you so many and so great blessings 
more than to other creatures." At these and the 
like words of S. Antony, the fishes began to open 
their mouths and bow their heads, and with these 
and other signs of reverence in such fashion as 
best they might, gave praises unto God. Then S. 
Antony, beholding this great reverence of the fishes 
unto God their Creator, rejoiced in spirit, and cried 
with a loud voice : " Bl'.ssed be God eternal, sith 
the fishes of the waters give Him more honour 
than do the heretics; and the 3i.;;r>als that have 
no reason pay more heed unto Hit word than un- 
believing men." And the moi^- S. Antony preached, 
the more did the multitude of the fish increase, 
and no one of them left the place that he had taken. 



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S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,,j 

At the which miracle the peoplp of the city began 
to run together, and among them the heretics afore- 
said also drew nigh : the which beholding the 
miracle so marvellous and so clear, touched to the 
^' '"'l^" " ''•^ ^"' °f S. Antony to hear his 

7^^v A^'"' ^- ^"'""y ''"g»" '° P™-:'' of the 
catholic faith ; and so nobly did he preach that all 

oTh /-I'^rTu" '°"^««'d, and turned them 
to the faith of Christ; and all the faithful abode 
in joy exceeding great, being comforted and strene- 

ZTfx,'Vu' ^""'- ^^ '^" ^°"^' S- Antony 
bade he fishes depart with the blessing of God ; 
and all went thence with marvellous si|ns of joy 
and likewise the people also. And ^thereakr 
3. Antony abode in Rimini many days, preachine 
and reaping much spiritual fruit of soulsf 

CHAPTER XLI 

""".t^.T"'''' ?"{''"' ^'™" '''"^"■'dfr,magri.v,us 
IZTo'J:;""^ "" •""*"' ""'" -"'" " 

^„!.°''If'"L'*8'""'"8 °f the Order of S. Francis 
and while he was still alive, there came into the 

Br„.h,!I ^°""« "f " °^^""'' "•'^ 'hi'^h "" called 
with o much grace, .uch depth of contemplation 
and elevation oTmind. that all hi, life was a mirror 

we;'7o",^t""''!'?l'.''''''''"«'^«''»'''c^^ 
were lo,^ time with him. Full seldom was he seen 

brothers 1'' ""^ " '"u"' T" " •>« "" ^">>^" 
brothers he always spake of God. He had never 

learned the art of grammar ; nathles, he spake such 



I 



M, 



i 



116 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

profound and lofty things of God and of the love of 
Christ, that his words seemed supernatural ; whence 
it befell that one evening when he had gone into 
the wood with Brother Jacques da Massa for 
to speak of God, and was speaking most sweetly 
of the love divine, they continued all the night 
in such discourse ; and in the morning it seemed 
to them that they had been but a brief space to- 
gether, even as was tol'' :-.'. by the said Brother 
Jacques. And the saia Sr v-er Simon felt such 
pleasantness and sweetnei ■ of' spirit in the divine en- 
lightenment and loving visitations of God, that 
oftentimes, when he had sense of their approach, 
he would lay him down upon his bed ; for the tran- 
quil sweetness of the Holy Spirit required of him 
not only the repose of sou! but of body, and in 
these divine visitations he was often rapt in God, 
and became all insensible to the things of the 
body. Wherefore on a time, when thuswise rapt 
in God and insensible to the world he inwardly 
burned with love divine, and with his bodily feel- 
ings had no sense at all of things without, a cer- 
tam brother, desiring to make trial thereof, for 
to see if it were truly as it seemed to be, went and 
took a live coal from off the fire, and laid it on 
his naked foot. And Brother Simon felt it not 
a whit, and it made no mark upon his foot, albeit 
it remained thereon so long a time that it went 
out of its own self. The said Brother Simon, 
when he set him down at table, before he took 
food for the body, would take for himself and 
give to others spiritual food, speaking of God. 
Through his devout discourse on a time was con- 



i\ 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



"7 

verted a young man of San Severino, the which in 
the world was a youth exceeding vai.^ and woiuiv 

oody; and Brother Simon receiving the said 
youth mto the Order, put his secular cfotlSes a rde 

kJi T "^'^l' ""'^ '^^ y"""- ^bode with 
Brother S,mon to be taught by him the rujof 
the Order. But the devil, that striveth to th^rt 
.11 good, assailed him with so fierce a tempta^on 
and so gnevous a thorn in the flesh, that in no 
wise could he resist the same ; for the which caust 
he went to Brother Simon, and said unto him 
l«ve me back Tiy clothes that I brought with 
me from the world, for I can no more endure"his 
temptation of the flesh." And Brother Smon 
^vmg great compassion on him, said : " Sit here 
with me a little while, my son; " and he began 
to speak with^him of God in such sort that^an 
temptation left him: and when after a t me the 

mircr" V"'' T" "" "'"''* ^- "- "o'he 

TrVH i T ^1™°" '^'°'" '' »«'»>' "ith speech 
of God. And when this had been so full mW^a 
time, at last one night the said temptation a2d 
him so grievously, even more than it was wont 
that for naught in the world could he resist "t 

again all his secular clothes, for that in no wise 
could he longer stay. Then Brother Simon" e7en 
a he was wont to do, made him sit down beside 

iZ 'h\- V "If 'P*''' '" '''" °f God, the youth 
leaned hi, head upon the breast of Brother Simon! 

SiLnf .k'"'* '''"■■5»°f 'o"I- Then Brothe; 
Simon for the great pit/s sake that he had, lifted 



ii8 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

up his eyes to heaven and prayed, and as he de- 
voutly besought the Lord for him, he was rapt in 
God and his prayer was heard : whenas he returned 
to himself again, the young man found himself 
altogether freed from that temptation, as though 
he bid felt it never a whit. The fire of temptation 
being thuswise changed into the fire of the Holy 
Spirit, for that he had d^wn near unto the burn- 
ing coal, to wit, unto I other Simon, he became 
altogether inflamed with the love of God and of 
his neighbour ; in so much that on a time a male- 
factor having been taken who was to have both his 
eyes put out, he, to wit, the youth aforesaid, for 
pity's sake went boldly unto the governor, and in 
open council, trjd with many tears and humble 
prayers besought that one of his eyes might be put 
out and one only of the malefactor's, for that he 
might not be deprived of both. But the gover- 
nor and the council beholding the great fervour of 
the charity of this brother, forgave both the one 
and the other. It befell on a day while the said 
Brother Simon was at prayer in the wood and was 
feeling great consolation in his soul, that a flock 
of crows began to do him annoy with their cries ; 
wherefore he bade them in the name of Jesu depart 
and return there no more : whereat the said birds 
departing thence, from that time forward were no 
more seen nor heard, neither there nor in all the 
country round. And' this miracle was manifested 
unto all the Custody of Fermo, wherein the said 
House lay. 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



119 



CHAPTER XLII 

O/'i'/'ir mir^clnthatGo'l wrought b, the hmd, rfthe hh 
br.hn, Brother BemimgUa, Brihr Peter ifMml 
c-lh,and Brother Conrad ,fOM. : and hod Broter 
B'nUvogha earrud -leper fifteen mile, in a vny irif 

f'l^'rgm Mar, came unto the third and laid her Son 
In ft IS arms 

The Province of the March of Ancona was in 
a^den time adorned, even as the sky with stars, 
with brothers that were patterns of holy life ; the 

which hke shining lights of heaven, have illumined 
and adorned the Order of S. F«ncis and the worid 
with ensamples and with doctrine. Amone the 
rest, there was first of all Brother Lucidc Antico 
who was m very sooth resplendent with sanctity' 
and burning with chanty divine; whose glorious 
tongue taueht of the Holy Spirit, brought f"^h 
marvellous Truit m preaching. Another was Brother 

&'*^'' °' ^" u^T.T"°- ""= ^hich was seen by 
Brother Masseo to be lifted up in the air for a great 

r'\'?''!!'".'" Y"." P"''" '" ">« "°°d ; through 
the which miracle the devout Brother Masseo fc- 

Brother Minor ; and he was of so great sanctity 

i„H H, H °^!. u'"5">' '"'""^'*^> ^°'^ '"hen alive 
and dead, and his body rests at Murro. The afore- 
said Brother Bentivoglia, while abiding on a time 
at Trave Bonanti alone, for to care fo? and serve 
« leper, was bidden by his superior to depart thence 
and go to another place that was fifteen miles off- 



I20 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

not willing to abandon the leper, with great fer- 
vour of charity he took him up and set him on his 
shoulder, and carried him from dawn even unto 
sun-rise all that road of fifteen miles, to the place 
whither he had been sent, that was called Monte 
Sancino : the which journey, had he been an eagle, 
he could not have flown in so short a time : and in 
all that country round there was great marvel and 
amazement at so divine a miracle. Another was 
Brother Peter of Monticello, the which was seen 
by Brother Servodio of Urbino (he being then 
guardian in the old House of Ancona) lifted bodily 
off the ground five or six cubits, even to the feet 
of the Crucifix of the church, in front of which 
he was at prayer. And this Brother Peter, while 
fasting on a time with great devotion during the 
forty days' fast of S. Michael the Archangel, and 
being at prayer in the church on the last day of 
this fast, was heard by a young brother (who of set 
purpose lay hidden under the high altar for to see 
some token of his sanctity) speaking with & Michael 
the Archangel ; and the words that he said, were 
these : Quoth S. Michael : " Brother Peter, thou 
hast toiled so faithfully for me, and in many ways 
hast afflicted thy body : lo ! now am I come to 
comfort thee, and to the intent that thou mayest 
ask what grace soever thou wilt, and I will get it 
thee from God." Replied Brother Peter : "Most 
holy Prince of the celestial host, and faithful zealot 
of love divine, and pitying protector of souls, I ask 
this grace of thee that thou obtain from God the 
pardon of my sins." Replied S. Michael : " Ask 
some other grace of me, for this grace shall I win 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI „, 

for thee right earily;" but Brother Peter askimr 
%!!rlt"fTV^' Archangel concluded thusi 
I Ju "'.V- r"''u'^'''°"°" '*>« 'l'"" hast to me, 
I will obtam for thee this grace thou askest for 
"d many more besides." And done their parley 
the which lasted for a long space, the Archange 
S. M,chael was away, leaving him comforted ex- 
ceedingly In the days of this holy Brother Peter 
there l.ved also the holy Brother Conrad of Offida ■ 

Forano, m the CustoHy of Ancona, the said Brother 
Conrad went one day into the wood to meditate on 
God, and Brother Peter followed him by stealth 
for to see what might befall him; and Brother 
Lon„d began to pray, most devoutly beseeching 
hi,. hT '^u"'' '"*' great piety to beg of he? 
blessed Son this grace, that he might feel a little 
of that sweetness that S. Simeon felt on the day 

bussed Savour Jesu And when he had made this 

rX'h M ^l^'" ^"^ °^ ^" P"y heard him ; 
and behold ! there appeared unto him the Queen 
of heaven with her blessed Son in her arms, with 
a great light exceeding bright, and coming near 

ble^edSon : who taking Him with great devotion, 
embracing and kissing llim and pressing Him to 
h«s breast, was melteJ altogether and diLlved in 
ove divine and consolation unspeakable. And in 
like manner Brother Peter, who from his hidine- 
place saw all that befell, felt in his soul exceeding 
sweetness and consolation. And when the Virgin 
Mary had departed from Brother Conrad. Brotfer 



i. 



II 






122 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

Peter gat him back in liaste to the house, that 
he might not be seen of him : but theroifter, 
when Brother Conrad returned all joyful and glad, 
Brother Peter said unto him : " O what heavenly 
great consolation hast thou had this day ! " Quoth 
Brother Conrad : " What is this that thou savest, 
Brother Peter? and what dost thou know of that 
which I have had ? " " I know full well, I know," 
said Brother Peter, " how the Virgin Mary with 
her blessed Son hath visited thee." Then Brother 
Conrad, who being truly humble desired to keep 
secret the favours of God, besought him that he 
would tell it unto no one ; and from that time 
forth so great was the love between these twain, 
that they seemed to have but one heart and soul 
in all things. And on a time in the House of 
Siruolo, the said Brother Conrad set free by his 
prayers a woman that was possessed of a devil, 
praying for her a whole night through, and being 
seen by her mother, in the morning fled away, to 
the intent that he might not be found and hon- 
oured by the people. 



CHAPTER XUII 

Hnu Bnthir Conrad of Offida cmvertid a ymng hnthir 
that was troMing thi tther brithrtn. And hnu thii 
yaung hrathir dying appeartd tt tht said Bnthir Cmrad, 
beseeching him ta pray for him : and how by his prayer 
he set him free from the grievous pains of Purgatory 

The said Brother Conr»d of Offida, marvellous 
zealot of gospel poverty and of the rule of S. 
Francis, was of so religious a life and of so great 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 123 

merit in the sight of God, that Christ, the blessed 
Une, honoured him in his life and death with 
many miracles; among the which, having come 
on a time as a guest to the House of Offida, the 
brothers prayed him. for the love of God and of 
Charity to admonish a young brother that was in 

so childish and unruly and ungovernable, that he 
disturbed both old and young V the community 
m the dmne offi«:, and for the other observances 

Brothtr r T- ''•"%°' """S***- Wherefore 
Brother Conrad, in pity for the youth and at t^e 
prayers of the brothers, called the said brother 
hi^'^ZV"/ '" .''^"°"'' of charity spal.e unto 
.h^ rl' °*^»f™°"«io" » effective and devout, 

denly changed m h:. behaviour from a boy to an 

careful, and devout, and thereafter so peaceful 
and serviceable, and so studious of all virtue that 
t,lKL*t* J?"' *" "'^ community had been dis^ 
turbed by him, so were they all content with him 
and comforted, and loved him exceeding well A 
while after, sith it was the will of God? after this 
his conversion the youth aforesaid died ; whereof 
the said brothers were sore grieving; and a few 
days after his death his soul appeared unto Broth^ 

altar of the said convent, and saluted him de- 

Wm ''"Wlf ^"'^f' ??'* ^™"'" Conrad asked 

him. Who art thou?" He answered, and said : 

1 am the soul of that young brother that died 

m these days." Quoth Brother Conrad : " O my 



il 



J\ 



114 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

•on most dear, how is it with thee ? " He an- 
swered : " By the grace of God and your admon- 
ishments, it is well ; seeing that I am not damnerl, 
but for certain of my sins, whereof I had not time 
sufficiently to purge me, I suffer the grievous pains 
of Purgatory : but I pray thee, father, that even 
as of thy pity thou didst succour me whilst yet I 
lived, so now thou wilt be pleased to help me in 
my pains, saying a Paternoster for me ; sith thy 
prayer is mui ii acceptable in the sight of God." 
Then Brother Conrad consenting gently unto his 
prayers, and saying the Paternoster once for him 
and the Requiem aeterKam, quoth that soul : " O 
father most dear, what blessedness and sweet re- 
freshment do I feel ! now I pray thee that thou 
say it once again." And Brother Conrad said it : 
and when that it was said, quoth the soul : " Holy 
father, when thou prayest for me I feel my pains 
assuaged ; wherefore I do beseech thee that thou 
cease not praying for me." Thereat Brother Con- 
rad, seeing that this soul was so much helped by 
his prayers, said for him a hundred Paternosters ; 
and when that they were said, quoth the soul ; 
" 1 thank thee, father most dear, in the name of 
God, for the love that thou hast shown me ; for 
through thy prayers am I set free from all my 
pains, and now am I going to the celestial king- 
dom ; " and this said, the soul was away. Then 
Brother Conrad, for to give joy and comfort to 
the brethren, told unto them all this vision in 
order. And thus the soul of that youth went to 
Paradise through the merits of Brother Conrad. 




;i 



i 
I 



I 



Jl 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 125 

CHAPTER XLIV 

Hmthiri a^ared mta Bnthtr Cnrad th, Mithir of 
Lhrat, S. John th, Evangt/iit, and S. Fnncii ; md 
t,U h,m which ,/ thm had the p«,tn pirf hr th, 
Pasnm if Christ ' J J 

At the time when there dwelt together in the Cus- 
tody of Ancona, in the House of Forano, Brother 
Lonrad and the aforesaid Brother Peter, the which 
were two shining stan in the Province of the 
March, and lilce denizens of heaven ; for between 
them was there such love as seemed to spring from 
one and the self-same heart and self-same soul. They 
bound themselvi togethereach toeachbythis agree- 
ment, that every consolation that the mercy ofGod 
might vouchsafe them, they would reveal the one 
unto the other in love. This pact being stablished 
between them, it oefell on a day that Brother Peter 
bemg at prayer, and most devoutly meditatinff on 
the Passion of Christ, and how the most blessed 
Mother of Christ, and John the Evangelist, the 
most beloved disciple, and S. Francis, were de- 
picted at the foot of the Cross through Brief 
of soul being crucified with Christ, there came to 
him a longing to know which of those three had 
the greater grief for the Passion of Christ : His 
Mother, that had borne Him ; or the Disciple, that 
had slept upon His breast ; or S. Francis, that had 
with Chnst been crucified : and as he continued 
in such pious thoughts, there appeared unto him 
the Virgin Mary, with S. John the Evangelist, and 
!>. l-rancis, clad in the noblest robes of beatific 
glory ; but S. Francis appeared clad in more beau- 



126 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

tiful vesture than S. John. And Peter being sore 
adread at this vision, S. John comforted him, and 
said : " Fear not, dear brother, seeing that we are 
come to console thee in thy doubt. Know then that 
the Mother of Christ and I above all other creatures 
sorrowed for the Passion of Christ ; but next after 
us S. Francis felt greater grief than all others : 
wherefore dost thou behold him in so great glory." 
And Brother Peter asked him : " Most holy Apostle 
of Christ, wherefore doth the vesture of S. Francis 
appear more beautiful than thine?" Replied S. 
John : " The reason thereof is : because when he 
was in the world, he wore on his back viler raiment 
than I." And said these words, S. John gave unto 
Brother Peter a glorious robe that he was carry- 
ing in his hand, and said unto him : " Take this 
robe which I have brought for to give it thee ; " 
and when S. John sought to array him in this 
robe. Brother Peter fell to the ground, sore amazed, 
and began to cry out : " Brother Conrad, Brother 
Conrad most dear, quick, help me ; come and see 
things wonderful ; " and at these holy words that 
holy vision vanished from his sight. Then Brother 
Conrad coming, he told him everything in order ; 
and they gave thanks unto God. 

CHAPTER XLV 

Ofthi anviriim and lift and miracUt and death tfthi 
hsly Brathir Jchn if La Pinna 

When Brother John of La Penna was a boy in 
the Province of the March and still living the 
secular life, there appeared unto him one night a 



II 



I 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,27 

John, go unto S. Stephen's, where is preaching 

thou beheve and g,ve heed unto his words, sTeing 
tha I have sent h.m thither; and this done, thoS 
hast a long journey to take, and then shall thou 
come unto me." Whereat straightway he aros^ 
and felt a great change within his soul. And 
commg to S. Stephen's, he found there a great mul- 
.tude of men and of women, that werl gathered 
together for to hear the preaching. And he that 

Ph.hp, the which was one of the first brothers that 
had come to the March of Ancona; and as yet 

Brn?K"'p.-,- ' ^'^ ?°"*^ '" *'" March. Th" 
Brother Ph.hp stood up to preach, and preached 
exceedmg devoutly, not with words of human 
wisdom, but by virtue of the spirit of Christ 
making known the kingdom of eternal life. And 

Brot'h,', Ph?r''''"!18'' .'^ ^y "'■"""id went to 
Brother Phihp, and said unto him : "Father if it 
please thee to receive me into the Order, I would 
do penance willingly and serve our Lord Jesu 

i?rL ^''^"i" ^'■'"P '«'"« ""d "cogniS 
in he boy a nght marvellous innocence and readf 
will to serve 5od, said unto him: "Thou shak 
come to me on such a day at Recanati, and I will 

held the Provincial Chapter. Whereby the boy 
being very pure in heart, thought that this would 
be the long journey that he was to take, according 
to the revelation that he had had, and ihat ther^ 
after he would go to Paradise ; and so he thought 



128 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

to do, straightway after he had been received into 
the Order. So he went and was received: but 
perceiving that his thoughts were not fulfilled at 
that time, and the Minister in Chapter saying that 
whoso desired to go into the province of Provence, 
for the merit of holy obedience, would have leave 
granted to him willingly, there came to him a great 
desire to go there, thmking in his heart that that 
would be the long journey that he must take, 
before he went to Paradise : but shaming to say so, 
at the last he confided in Brother Philip aforesaid, 
the which had let receive him into the Order, and 
besought him tenderly that he would obtain for 
him this favour of going to the province of Pro- 
vence. Then Brother Philip, seeing his purity and 
his holy purpose, obtained for him leave thereto : 
so Brother John, with great joy, set out upon his 
way, bethinking him that, done this journey, he 
would go to Paradise. But sith it pleased God, 
he abode in the said province five and twenty years 
in that expectation and disire, shewing himself a 
pattern of holy life, increasing always in virtue and 
favour with God and the people, and was exceeding 
much beloved by the brothers and by those in the 
world. And as Brother John was praying devoutly 
one day, and weeping and lamenting for that his 
desire was not fulfilled, and that his life's pilgrim- 
age was so much prolonged, there appeared unto 
him Christ, the blessed One, at the sight of whom 
his soul was all melted within him, and spake thus 
unto him : " My son, Brother John, ask of Me 
whatsoever thou wilt;" and he replied: "My 
Lord, I know not what to ask of Thee save Thy- 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,29 

^'thu"^' ''°7*"g'" do I desire „ve Thee • but 

m" In n?i°," ''° '/"'' '^''~' ">" Thou fo Jve 
me all my sms, and grant me grace to see th^ 

'h reT^"jr:;ij'''.?A''^' ''' «"""-" 
And this said He was S "anrfi" r"?!'" 
remained altogether comfTrL"'VT*'"J°t" 
brother, of thf March rarine'of tt /am!'of hi: 

cw %u?:r"' i"".''"e to thrproti :i 
pL^rtHr'j^-arct'hrdlhSr;,:^^ 

hat .t should fulfil His promise" hfm And 
in those days he many times filled the officf of 
guardian with great discretion ; and God wfouX 
through h.m many miracles. And among the other 

So^ht* ' """"* °^^°^' ^-- '""1 thVspirit of 
prophecy ; now on a time it befell that when h- 
was away from the House, one of his novTces w« 
as^Ued by the devil and so grievouslytempted that 

leave the Order, so soon as Brother John should 
have come back again; the which mat"er a„H 
temptation, and the thoughts of his hLVr, h 
known unto Brother John^hrough the spir t' of 
the said novice unto h m, and haH,. h\^ J 
himself: but before he co;;eld,t 'Z Tm't 




I30 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

order all his temptation, according as God had 
revealed it unto him, and ended thus : " My son, 
because thou hast waited for me and wouldest not 
depart without my blessing, God hath given thee 
this grace that never shalt thou leave this Order, 
but by the grace of God shalt die in the Order." 
Thereat the said novice was strengthened in good 
will, and remaining in the Order became a holy 
brother : and all these things were told me by 
Brother Ugolino. The said Brother John, who 
was a man of cheerful and tranquil mind, spake 
but seldom, and was much given to prayer and de- 
votion, and above all after Matins he would not 
return to his cell, but would continue in prayer in 
the church until daylight ; and while he was thus 
praying one night after Matins, the Angel of God 
appeared unto him, saying : " Brother John, now 
is finished thy journey, for the which thou hast 
waited so long ; wherefore, in the name of God, I 
announce unto thee that thou mayest ask whatso- 
ever grace thou wilt. And likewise I announce 
unto thee that thou mayest choose which thou 
wilt, — or one day in Purgatory, or seven days' pain 
on earth." And Brother John choosing rather the 
seven days' pain on earth, straightway fell sick of 
divers infirmities ; for a grievous fever se'ied him, 
and gout in his hands and his feet, and pains in his 
»de, and many other ills; but what was more 
grievous to him was that a devil stood before him 
and held in his hand a great scroll, whereon were 
writtenall the sins that he had everdone or thought, 
and said to him : " For these sins that thou hast 
done in thought, word, and deed, art thou damned 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,31 

to the depths of hell." And he could not call to 

i"'"he o!^d^°~' '^r'^ ^* ^' '""1 -erdone.d^er 
m the Order or elsewhere, and so he thought that 
he was damned, even as '^he devil said Wherefo™. 
;t any asked him how he foed. he touM^a^rw^l 
lU. sith I am damned." Seeing this, the brothers 
sent for an aged brother called Irother Matth w 
of Monte Rubbiano, the which was a holy man 
and a close fnend of this Brother John ; and the 
sa.d Brother Matthew coming to him on he 

111, sith he was damned. Then quoth Brother 
Matthew: "Dost thou not remerSber how thou 

^hJ TTT!!^'''V^ "'y^"'" -n^ »"d I have 
wholly absolved thee of all thy sins.? Dost thou 
not remember also that thou hast served God 
contmuously m this holy Order many years ' Be- 
sides, dost thou not remember that the mercy of 

?h^ l^V '^/iu"'-' '•"= ''"' °^ ""= world, and 
that the blessed Christ, our Saviour, paid ak in- 
hnite price for our redemption? Wherefore be 
of good hope that of a surety thou art saved ■ " 
and with these words, since the time of his puri- 
fitafon was accomplished, the temptation'^left 
him and he was comforted. And with great joy 
Brother John spake unto Brother Matthew " Since 
thou art wearied and the hour is late, I pray thee 
go and rest thyself;" and Brother M.t?hew w« 
loth to leave him ; but at length, at his much 
urging, he left him and went t^o lie down a„d 
Brother John remained alone with a brother that 
did him service. And behold ! Christ, the blessed 



132 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

One, came with great splendour and with fragrance 
of exceeding sweetness, even as He had promised 
to appear to him a second time when his need was 
greater, and He healed him thoroughly of all his 
sickness. Then Brother John with hands clasped 
gave thanks unto God that he had made so good 
an end of the long journey of this miserable life, 
commended his soul into the hands of Christ and 
gave it up to God, passing from this mortal life 
unto life eternal with Christ, the blessed One, 
whom he had so long desired and waited to behold. 
And the said Brother John rests in the convent of 
La Penna of Saint John. 



CHAPTER XLVI 

How Brother Peocejul being at prayer saw the soul of 
Brother Humble^ his brother^ going up to heaven 

In the aforesaid Province of the March, -fter the 
death of S. Francis, there were two brothers in the 
Order ; the one named Brother Humble and the 
other Brother Peaceful, the which were men of 
exceeding great sanctity and perfection ; and the 
one, to wit. Brother Humble, abode in the House 
of Soffiano, and there died ; and the other belonged 
to another community at some distance therefrom. 
Now it pleased God that as Brother Peaceful was 
at prayer one day in a lonely place, he was rapt in 
ecstasy, and saw the soul of his brother. Brother 
Humble, that '.ad just then left the body, going 
straight up into heaven without either let or hin- 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,33 

drancc. It befell that, many years after. Brother 
Peaceful be.ng still alive, ,.as sent to the com 
munjty ,„ the aforesaid House of Soffiano whe« 

ho,h ""'".''*'* '""*• About this Tie th" 
brothers, at the request of the lords of B^uforn 
exchanged the said house foranother; wheXe 

relics of the holy Whers that had died in that 
House, and coming to the erave of Rr„^T 
Humble, hisbrothef. Brother l^efuf took up 
h.s bones, and washed them with good wine and 
wrapped them in a white napkin, and wiTe^at 
ZT'T'^ ''=7"°" ''i^^d them and w Jt^over 
deemid^'h "' ."'' ""'^^ ''™"'^" marvelled, and 

tmedthat"',>L'r"°e°'^"''"P'«: '" that k 
seemea that, albeit a man of so great sanrtifv h. 

mourned for his brother,withacaf„:r.ndaSy 
love; and that he showed more devotion to hi 
rehcs than to those of the other brothel that had 
been of no less sanctity than Brother Humble, and 

as his. And Brother Peaceful knowing the evil 

S'"f'"^'/ -5" '"■°'''"^' ''"'"'"y satisWthem 
thereof, and said unto them : " My brothers mo« 
dear, marvel not that I have done for thtCes 
of my brother what I have not done for th" 
others; for, blessed be God I was not m J^ 
thereto, as ye deem, by carnal 1^7 bm so We 
frort'hU°Vf''",' "'^'? "y '''°""='- Passed a„l 
h;«T If /'■ ' .P'-»>""g i" « lonely place and 
distant far from him, beheld his soul ri^ straight 
to heaven, whereby I am assured "ha" his bones 
are holy and should be in Paradise. And if G^ 



134 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

h»d granted me such surety touching the other 
brothers, then would I have paid the self same re- 
verence unto their bones." For the which cause, 
the brothers, seeing his holy and devout intent, 
were through him well edified, and gave praise 
unto God, that doeth such marvellous things unto 
His holy ones, the brothers. 



CHAPTER XLVII 

Of Ihi hily brothtr unto whm apptarid thi Mathir of 
Christ, what time hi was sici, bringing him thru boxes 
of electuary 

In the above-mentioned House of Sofliano there 
was in former times a Brother Minor of so great 
sanctity and grace that he seemed altogether divine, 
and oftentimes was rapt in God. Once on a time 
this brother being wholly absorbed in God and 
lifted up, for he had in notaKn fashion the grace 
of contemplation, there came unto him birds of 
divers kinds, and settled, as they were tame, on his 
shoulders and on his head, and on his arms and 
his hands, and sang right marvellously. He loved 
to be alone and spake but seldom; but when 
he was questioned touching any matter, he would 
answer so wisely and so graciously that he seemed 
rather an angel than a man ; and he abounded much 
in prayer and contemplation; and the brothers 
held him in high reverence. This brother hav- 
ing finished the course of his inrtuous life, accord- 
ing to God's ordinance, fell sick unto death, so 



J aunofiatc r^StiSSto 













' I 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,3j 

that 1 ; could Mke no food at all ; and therewithal 
would take no carnal medicine, but all his trust 
was in the heavenly physician, Jesu Christ, the 
blessed One, and in His blessed Mothe- ; by whom 
through the divine clemency he merited to be 
mercifully visited and tended. Wherefore on a 
time as he was lying on his bed and preparing him- 
self for death with all his heart and with utter de- 
votion, there appeared unto him the glorious Virgin 
Mary, Mother of Christ, with a very great com- 
pany of Angels and of holy Virgins, in marvellous 
splendour, and drew nigh unto his bed ; whereat, 
gazing upon her, he took great comfort and joy. 
both m soul and body; and began to beseech her 
humbly that she wo d pray her dear Son that of 
His merits He would take him out of the prison 
of this miserable flesh. And as he continued in 
this prayer with many tears, the Virgin Mary 
answered him, calling him by his name, and said : 
Be not doubtmg, my son, for thy prayer is heard, 
and I am come to comfort thee a little, ere thou de- 
part from out this life." Now there were beside 
the Virgin Mary three holy Virgins, that carried 
m their hands three boxes of electuary of surpass- 
ing fragrance and sweetness. Then the glorious 
Virgin took and opened one of these boxes, and 
all the house was filled with sweet odours ; and 
taking of this electuary with a spoon, she gave 
unto the sick min : the which, so soon as he had 
tasted, felt such comfort and such sweetness, that 
It seemed as though his soul could stay within his 
body no longer ; wherefore he began to say : " No 
more, O most holy and blessed Virgin Mother O 



136 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

blessed physician and saviour of human kind, no 
more ; for I cannot endure such sweetness." But 
thekmd and pitying Mother gave of this electuary 
unto the sick man many times and made him to uke 
It, until all the box was emptied. Then when the 
first box was empty, the blessed Virgin took the 
second, and put the spoon therein for to give it 
him ; whereat he murmured, saying : " O most 
blessed IWother of God, my soul is well-nigh all 
"l^il^diwiY through the ardour and the sweetness 
of the first electuary : then how may I endure the 
second > I pray thee, blessed above all saints and 
angels, that thou seek not to give me more " 
Replied the glorious Virgin Mary : " Taste, my 
son, yet a little of this second box." Andgivine 
him a httle thereof, she said : " To-day, my son, 
thou hast as much as is sufficient for thee ; be 
comforted, my son, for soon shall I come for thee 
and take thee to the kingdom of my Son, the 
which thou hast ever sought and desired ; " and this 
said, she took leave of him and was away ; and he 
remained so cc isoled and comforted through the 
sweetness of this confection that, being stayed 
therewith, he lived many days more, well satisfied 
and strong, without any food for the body. And 
after some days, while speaking joyfully with the 
brothers, with great gladness and delight he passed 
away from this miserable life. 



■1 ' 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



'37 



CHAPTER XLVIII 

Orothr, Mmor ,n th, world, m ih, /ihnm of a tree and 
learned ,he v.rtu, and ,he n,erm and ,he i„ ^fl'h 

opened the door of His secrets, and gave perfect 
tur« ''f ^f-P^«^^-i^Z of the flolyS 
tures and of things to come, was of so great 

Mark'- of M^™'"" ^'T Z' ^'-'- -<» «™'™ 
Mark of Montino, and Brother Juniper and 
Brother Lucido said of him : that theyknfw of "o 

si"/ht'"of Cr h '"".'T" e-«- favour in the 
sight of God than this Brother Jacques. I had 

Brother tr '° "' '^ = '°' ^"^^ ' ''--g^t 
Brother John, a companion of the said Brother 

Giles, toexpound unto me certain spiritual matters 

he said unto me: "If thou desire\o be wellin- 

structed ,n the spiritual life, strive to have speech 

of Brother Jacques of La Massa (for Brother Giles 

naught can be added nor aught be taken awav 
for his mind hath entered into the secret thljs 
of heaven and his words are the words of the 

I so mu^ch'H- "■'^ '^"' ?. "° "■•" °" ""l' whom 
L% ^- ■"' '2 '"'■ This Brother Jacques, 

of Pa'rma^'"TP °^"" ""'"'"''y °^ ProthirThn 
rJ ^'u u .P">""K °" » ""^ was rapt in 

that t^raX "'!?« T'^f"^"^' '" ^""^h f-'hion 
dead anl it \'^°"'"°''. '"'■"*>" ^' ™s not 
dead . and being thus rapt, it was revealed to him 



1,1 



i 



W-'i 



i ' 



ii 

If- 

i f i' 



lit 



>:i 



138 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

of God, what must needs befall and happen to 
our Order : for the which cause, when I heard 
thereof, my desire was increased to hear him and 
have speech with him. And when it pleased God 
that I should have leisure to speak with him, I 
besought him in this manner : " If that which I 
have heard tell of thee be true, I pray thee that 
thou keep it not hidden from me. I have heard 
that when thou wast for three days as one dead, 
among other things that God revealed, was that 
which should happen unto this our Order: and 
that was told unto me by Brother Matthew, 
minister of the March, to whom thou didst re- 
veal it by holy obedience." Then Brother Jacques 
with great humility confessed that what Brother 
Matthew had said, was true. And the words that 
he spake, to wit Brother Matthew, the minister 
of the March, were these : " I know a brother, 
unto whom God hath revealed whatsoever will 
happen in our Order ; for Brother Jacques of La 
Massa hath told me and said that after many 
things that God revealed to him touching the 
estate of the Church militant, he beheld in a dream 
a tree fair to see and very great, whose root was 
of gold, and its fruits were men, and they were 
all of them Brothers Minor ; its main branches 
were distinctly marked according to the number 
of the provinces of the Order, and each branch 
had as many t.>,thersas there were in the province 
whose name was written on the branch. And 
thus he knew the number of all the brothers in 
the Order, of each province, and likewise their 
names and the age and condition of each, and the 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,39 

Tohnn?P ' u*""'- ^""l ^^ aw Brother 

branches that were round about this midmost 

AnTth f "'u """"'«" of "11 the provinces. 
And thereafter he saw Christ sitting on a throne 
ex«ed,ng great and shining, anH thrist calkd 
i. francs up th.ther and gave hi., a chalice full 
ofthesp,nt of life and sent him forth saying : 

of ths chahce of the spirit oflife; for the spirit 
th.^ 7 "'* "P, 'gainst them and will strike 
them, and many of them will fall and will not 
nse up agam." And Christ gave unto S. Frands 

F«n.*i?^ '° ^u ''™,.^°"'P»"y- Then came S 
Francis to g,ve the chalice of life to his brothers : 
and he gave it first to Brother John of Parma ■ 
who, taking It, drank it all in haste, devoutly ^ 
and straightway he became all shining like the 
sun. And after him S. Francis gave it^to all he 
other brothers in order: and there were but few 
among them that took it with due reverence and 
devotion, and drank it all. Those that took k 
devoutly and drank it all, became straightway 
shinmg like the sun ; but those that spilled it all 
and took It not devoutly, became black, and dark 
,h",, '1"'''?''P'="- '"'* horrible to see; but those' 
that drank part and spilled part, became partly 
shmmg and partly dark, and more so or lesl 

spilling thereof But the aforesaid Brother fohn 
was resplendent above all the rest, the which had 



I If, 



140 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

more completely drunk the chalice of life, whereby 
he had the more deeply gazed into the abyss of 
the infinite light divine : and had learned therein 
of the adversity and the tempest that was to rise 
up against this tree and shake and toss its branches. 
For the which cause the said Brother John came 
down from the top of the branch whereon he 
stood; and going down below all the branches 
hid himself in the solid root of the tree, and was 
all rapt in thought; and one of the brothers 
that had taken part of the chalice and part had 
spilt, climbed up on to that branch and to that 
place, whence Brother John had come down. 
And when he was come to that place, the nails of 
his hands became iron, sharp and keen as razors : 
whereat he left the place to which he had climbed, 
and with rage and fury sought to hurl himself 
upon the said Brother John for to do him hurt. 
But, seeing this. Brother John cried aloud and 
commended himself to Christ that sat upon the 
throne ; and at the voice of his crying Christ called 
uiito him S. Francis, and gave him a sharp flint 
stone, and said unto him : " Take this stone and cut 
off the nails of that brother, wherewith he would 
fain tear Brother John, so that he may do him no 
hurt." Then S. Francis came and did even as 
Christ had commanded. And this done, there 
arose a storm of wind, and shook the tree so 
violently that the brothers fell down on to the 
ground; and first fell all they that had spilled 
all the chalice of the spirit of life, and were 
carried away by the devils to places of darkness 
and torment. But Brother John, together with 




THK ( HI. I\ Wine It IlKOIIIKI^ ti.HN n| aI \ 
MOMK \l \H<M \ 



'•:M \ I l\ kti (IN 



EU 



U 



ill 



ft 






all 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 14, 

the others tlut h«l drunk all the chalice, were 
borne by the angels unto the place of life, and of 
light eternal, and beatific splendour. And the 
aforesaid Brother Jacques, that saw the vision, 
understood and discerned distinctly and separ telv 
all that he saw, touching the name and condition 
and state of each one of them clearly. And so 
long did that storm beat against th tree that it 
fell, and the wind carried it away. Then, when 
the storm ceased straightway from the golden 
root of this tree there sprang up another trJe that 
was all of gold, the which brought forth leaves 
«id flowers and fruit of gold. Of this tree, and 
how It spread out its branches and fixed deep its 
root, and of its beauty and fragrance and virtue. 
It were better to keep silence than to speak thereon 
at this present. 



CHAPTER XLIX 

Hi-JJ l„u Chrht appeared untc Brother John rf A hernia 
Among the other wise and holy brothers and .«)„s 

e .i, •"]"'!' "''?• " Solomon saith, are the glory 
of their father there was in our time, in the%aid 
^W Tof '^l^"'^> ^he venerable and holy 

B^fc \u °^7Z'^°' "•= ""^""^ ™»» ""^d also 
Brother John of Alvernia by reason of the lon« 
time that he dwelt in the holy House of Alvernia 
and because he there passed away from this life- 
for he was a man of wonderful life and of great' 
sanctity. This Brother John, while yet a bo^nd 
living m the world, desired with all his hem to 



142 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

tread the path of penitence that keepeth pure both 
body and soul ; whereby being still a little child, 
he began to wear the little heart of mail and iron 
girdle on his flesh, and to use great abstinence ; 
and above all, while he dwelt with the Canons of 
S. Peter of Fermo, that lived in great splendour, 
he shunned all carnal delights and mortified his 
body with great severity of abstinence ; but seeing 
that his companions there were much set against 
him, the which robbed him of the little heart and 
in divers manners hindered his abstinence, inspired 
of God he minded to leave the world with the 
lovers thereof, and to oflfer himself wholly in the 
arms of the Crucified, in the habit of the crucified 
S. Francis; and even so he did. And being re- 
ceived into the Order while yet a boy, and com- 
mitted unto the care of the master of the novices, 
he became so spiritually minded and so devout, 
that many a time hearing the said master speaking 
of God, his heart would melt like wax before the 
fire; and the love of God kindled in him such 
sweetness of grace, that not being able to remain 
still to endure such sweetness, he would get up, 
and as one drunken in spirit, would run, now 
through the garden, now through the wood, now 
through the church, according as the flame and 
the ardour of the spirit drave him. Then in course 
of time the divine grace made this angelic soul to 
grow continually from virtue unto virtue, and in 
heavenly gifts, being uplifted unto God and rapt 
in ecstasy ; so that at one time his mind was lifted 
up to the splendours of the Cherubim, at another 
time to the ardours of the Seraphim, at another to 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,+3 

IIIh^"'^^!"" ?''""^' " ""«''" '° the loving 
and ineffable embraces of Christ. And above all 
once upon a time in exceeding wondrous fashion 
h.s heart was kmdled with the fce of love divin" 
and this flame lasted in him for full threeTear^' 
in the which time he received marvellous consola- 
t ons and visitations divine, and oftentimes was 
rapt in God, and in short, in the said time he seemed 
all on fire and burning with the love of Christ- 
and all this was on the holy mount of Alvernia.' 
But seeing that God careth with tender care for 
his children, giving them, at divers times, now 
consolation, and now tribulation, now prosperity 
and now adversity, according as He seeth they have 
need thereof, for to continue in humility, or for 
to kindle more in them desire for heavenly things; 
.t pleased the divine goodness, after three years 
to take away from the said Brother John that 
ray and fire of love divine, and reave him of al 
spiritual consolation. Whereby Brother John re- 
mained without the light and love of God, and 
altogether disconsolate and afflicted and distressed. 
1-or the which cause, being in such anguish, he 
went through the wood running hither and thither 
calling with cries and tears and sighs on the beloved 
spouse of his soul, who had hidden himself and 
gone away from him, and without whose presence 
his soul could find no rest and no repose : but in 
no place and in no manner could he find his sweet 
Jesu again, nor taste again those sweet spiritual 
draughts of the love of Jesu Christ, as he had 
been wont And this tribulation endured for many 
days, m the which he abode continually weeping 



-^.i^-.M^IE 



144 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

and sighing, and praying God that of His pity 
He would give back to him the beloved spouse of 
his soul. At the last, when it pleased God to have 
made trial enough of his patience and to have 
kindled his desire, on a day when Brother John 
was going through the wood in such affliction and 
distress, he sat him down for very weariness, lean- 
ing against a beech tree, and remained with his 

face all bathed in tears looking up to heaven, 

behold ! suddenly Jesu Christ appeared hard by 
him in the path, whereby Brother John had come, 
but spake naught. Brother John seeing Him and 
knowing full well that it was Christ, straightway 
threw himself at His feet, and with sore weeping 
besought Him very humbly, saying : " Help me, 

Lord, for without Thee, my most sweet Saviour, 

1 am full of darkness and weeping ; without Thee, 
most gentle lamb, I am full of anguish and pain 
and fear : without Thee, Son of God most high, 
I am full of confusion and shame : without Thee, 
I am bereft of all good and am blind, since Thou 
art Jesu Christ, the true light of souls ; without 
Thee, I am lost and damned, for Thou art the life 
of souls, and the life of lives ; without Thee, I 
am barren and dry, for Thou art the fountain of 
every gift and grace ; without Thee, I am alto- 
gether disconsolate, for Thou art Jesu our redemp- 
tion, our love, and our desire, the bread of comfort, 
and the wine that maketh glad the hearts of the 
Angels, and the hearts of all the Saints ; enlighten 
me, most gracious Master, and most tender Shep- 
herd, for I am Thy little sheep, unworthy though 
I be." But sith the desire of holy men, when God 



vv4iiA.*V 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI j+j 

delay, to hear, doth kindle in them greater love 
and ment. Christ, the blessed One. de^rted with! 
out hearing him, and without speakine to him 
•"ght at all^ and he went by the Htt Khwa^ 
aforesaid Then Brother John „ose, and SS 
Him, and once again threw himself at Hi. feet 

^thm!^, H '' ""P°«""''y h^ld Him back, and 
wuh m<»t devout tean, besought Him, and said : 
O most sweet Jesu Christ, have mercy upon me 
m my trouble ; hear me for the multitude of Thv 
merc.es, and for the truth of Thy salvation, and 
eve back to me the joy of Thy counten nee and 
Thy glance of pity, for the whole world is full of 
Thy mercy." And still Christ departed and spake 
H>f\T°^l'!'' ""^eave him an^ comfort ^and 
when 1 '^ » i" '"'" ." * '"°*''"' "'"> her child, 
when she lets him desire the breast and makes 
him run behind weeping, to the end that hrmay 
thereafter receive it the more willingly. Whereat 
Brother John still followed Christ^ ^ithg„«" 

up to Him, the blessed Christ turned and looked 
upon him wi^ a glad countenance and gracious 
and opening His most holy and most pityfnTCs' 
embraced him very tenderly; and a, He oS 

he"m™; """; ?"«'■" J°'"' »"W "reaming^rom 
the mrat sacred breast of the Saviour rays of shin 
jng light, which illumined all the woi'and h m 
Tohrrn' ^°h\'" ^y ""* '°"'- Then Brother 
th, W fA ■"" 1-°.^ " ">= f'« "'■ Christ ; and 
the blessed Christ of His loving kindness gavi him 

A n°°'u'° x'"' "' "« <1W to the Maldalene 
and Brother John holding it with all reverence,' 

K 






'ik 



ih.i 



r." 



146 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

bathed it with so many tean that of a sooth he 
seemed a second Magdalene, and said devoutly: 
"I pray Thee, Lord, that Thou look not on my 
sins, but by Thy most hoiy passion and by the 
shedding of Thy most holy precious blood, revive 
my soul in the grace of Thy love ; sith this is Thy 
commandment, that we love Thee with all our 
heart and with all our soul ; the which command- 
ment none can keep without Thy help. Help 
me then, most beloved Son of Gcxl, that I may 
love Thee with all my heart and with all my 
strength." And as Brother John with sich words 
lay at the feet of Christ, his prayer was he*. J, and 
he received from Him the first grace, to wit the 
flame of love divine, and he felt altogether renewed 
and comforted ; and knowing within himself that 
the gift of divine grace had returned to him again, 
he began to give thanks unto the blessed Christ 
and devoutly kiss His feet. And as he rose 
up, to gaze upon the face of Christ, Jesu Christ 
stretched out His most holy hands for him to 
kiss; ana when that Brother John had kissed 
them, he drew near and leaned upon the breast 
of Jesu and embraced and kissed Him ; and Christ 
in like manner embraced and kissed him. And in 
this kiss and this embrace. Brother John perceived 
so divine a fragrance, that had all the fragrant 
spices and all the sweet-smelling things of all the 
earth been gathered . together, they would have 
seemed but as a stench in comparison wifh that 
fragrance ; and thereat was Brother John right 
well illumined and consoled, and that fragrance 
remained within his soul for many months. And 




f^ 



•J.l 

i4 



i 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,4, 

thenceforth, from out his mouth that had drunl 

bLstofXt" °^ ''T" ^'«'°'" '" 'he ucZ 
breast of the Saviour, there came forth marvellous 
and celestial words, that changed the hea^s of 
hrrdte'r'A'H°"'r';/™''°f-"'»'"-hos°o 

whe«on tt W ''^'? "*' i'"'' P*"' i" 'he wood, 
Whereon the blessed feet of Christ had stood and 
for a great space all around, did Broth«^Tohn 
a^ays perceive that fragrance andThoTd that 
p endour, whene'er he f Jed thither, and eke for 

return^ rv''"';^'"-. '^'''"" Brother John 
fhlT^M himself again after this ecstasy, and 
the bodily presence of Christ had disappeared he 
remained so illumined in his soul, frZ^Zlhy^ 
,hi5 ^'l'""''' """ '"«=" h= "-as not a man learned 
;^™7^human study, yet in marvellous ffshion 
he solved and explained the mo-t subtle and loftv 
questions touching the divine Trinity, and the 
deep mysteries of tL Holy Scripture And often 

nTthe cTl-"'.'"'". "' 'P'"^' before the poF^ 
and the cardmals, and the king, and his baroM 
and the masters, and doctors, they were a amazrf 
at the loftywords and the profo/nd though 



I 



CHAPTER L 

Da,, >ow ma„, «mh d,livir,dfr,m Purgat„y 



I 



I 



148 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

has ordained, with such effectual charity and such 
pitying compassion did he offer that most high 
sacrament, (which for its saving power, the souls 
of the dead desire above all other blessings that 
can be poured upon them), that he seemed alto- 
gether as though he were melted with the sweet- 
ness of pity and brotherly love. For the which 
cause as he devoutly elevated the Body of Christ 
in that Mass, and offered it unto God the Father, 
and prayed that for the love of His beloved Son 
Jesu Christ, who for the redemption of souls had 
hung upon the cross, it would please Him to set 
free from the pains of Purgatory the souls of the 
dead He had created and redeemed, — straightway 
he saw a multitude of souls wellnigh without 
number coming forth from Pureatory, like count- 
less sparks of fire coming out of a blazing furnace, 
and he beheld them rise up to heaven, through 
the merits of the passion of Christ, who every 
day is offered for the quick and the dead in that 
most sacred Host, that is worthy to be adored in 
s^cuia s^culorum. 



! \'. 



CHAPTER LI 

Ofthi hh Brilhtr Jacquii if FalUnni ; and haw aftir hi, 
diath, hi apptarid unto Brcther John of Ahtrnia 

At the time when Brother Jacques of Fallerone, 
a man of great sanaity, was grievously sick in 
the House of Moliano in the Custody of Fermo, 
Brother John of Alvernia, who was then abiding 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 149 

and saw in the "tetXS':^"^ 

with such splendour, that all the countiV round 
was ht up therewith : and in the midst of these 
angels he beheld that sick Brother Jacques fol 
whom he prayed, ail resplendent in 4h?te robe" 

^ F«!^ '"h'''''T' ''.= ^^'^-^ '^' blessed F°ther 
S. Fnincs, adorned with the holy Stigmata of 
Chmt and w.th much glory. MoreoTh" saw 

Broth'*'"^"'"? '\^°^y ^^'her LucTdo ^I 
Brother Matthew Antico of Monte Ruhhi/„„ 
and many other brothers, the which if thtre 

IohM"T *" ^' ''"°''"- And as Brother 
John was thus gazmg with great joy upon thU 

w^uW h, '""7 '^' T' °^ "« "W »i^k broth" 

aftlr h A """'l""* g° 'o Paradise straightw^J 
after h,s death, but he needs must be a liw^^ 

Cer 'Ll7T'^- ^' ""' «veUti:„"'iy 

M vatbn-'o^th "i »;:'•' ;°''' ^y «»«"' °f the 
salvation of the soul, that for the death of the 

s^ee'tneToT "° "^8'" " »" = ''"' ^''h "luch 

Brnf^.," I •'""'""■ '"«' ''ather mine- 

Brother Jacques, sweet my brother; Broth« 



^•4 



!'!'■■■« 



150 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

Jacques, most faithful servant and friend of God ; 
Brother Jacques, companion of the Angels, in 
fellowship with the blessed." And so in this 
certitude and joy he returned to himself again ; 
and straightway he departed from the House 
and went to visit the said Brother Jacques at 
Moliano : and finding him so weighed down with 
sickness that he scarce could speak, he announced 
to him the death of the body, and the salvation 
and glory of the soul, according to the certitude 
that he had thereof, by divine revelation; so that 
Brother Jacques, full of joy in heart and face, re- 
ceived him with great gladness and with merry 
laughter, giving him thanks for the glad tidings 
that he brought, and commending himself de- 
voutly unto him. Then Brother John besought 
him tenderly that after his death he would come 
back to him and tell him of his state ; and Brother 
Jacques promised him so to do, if so it were 
pleasing unto God. And said these words, as the 
hour of his departure drew near. Brother Jacques 
began devoutly to recite the verse of the Psalm : 
" In pace in idipsum dormiam et requiescam," 
that is to say : " In peace shall I sleep and rest 
in the life eternal : " and said this verse, with 
joyful and glad countenance he passed away from 
this life. And after that he was buried. Brother 
John returned to the House of La Massa, and 
waited for the promise of Brother Jacques that 
he would return to him on the day that he had 
said. But on the said day, as he was praying, 
Christ appeared unto him with a great company 
of Angels and Saints, and Brother Jacques was 



^^: , -' ^^y .. :mmm 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,5, 

not among them ; whereat Brother John, greatly 
marvellmg, commended him devoutly unto Christ. 
On the followmg day, as Brother John was prayine 
in the wood t^ere appeared unto him Brothe? 
Jacques, all glorious and glad, accompanied by the 
Angels, and Brother John said unto him- "O 
father most dear, wherefore didst thou not re- 
turn to me on the day thou didst promise me?" 
Replied Brother Jacques: "Because I had need 
of some purifying; but in that same hour that 
Chnst appeared to thee and thou didst commend 
me unto Him, Chnst heard thee and set me free 
from all jMim And then I appeared unto Brother 
Jacques of La Massa, a holy lay-brother: the 
which was serving the Mass and saw the conse- 
crated Host, what time the priest elevated it 
changed and transformed in the likeness of a most 
beautifu living child; and to him I said : 'This 
day am I going with this child unto the kinedom 
of eternal life, unto the which none may go without 
him. And said these words, Brother Jacques 
van«hed out of sight ; and he went up into heaven 

So^h T k' '"'''■'* '=°'"P*"y °^ Angels; and 
Brother John remained much comforted. The 
said Brother Jacques of Fallerone died on the vigil 
of S). James the Apostle, in the month of July in 
the aforesaid House of Moliano ; wherein after his 
death many miracles were wrought through his 
mentt by the divine goodness. 



ti 



i5» THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 



CHArrER Ul 

Of the visun if Brtthtr John rfAlvtrnia, whiriky he under- 
ttdtd all the order of the Holy Trinity 

For that the aforesaid John of Alvemia had per- 
fectly renounced all worldly and temporal delights 
and consolations, and had set all his delight and 
all his hope in God, the divine goodness gave unto 
him marveMous consolations and revelations, and 
especially on the high festivals of Christ ; so on a 
time when the festival of the nativity of Christ was 
drawing righ, on the which he looked that of a 
surety he would receive of God consolation from 
the sweet humanity of Jesu, the Holy Spirit put 
into his soul such great and exceeding love and 
fervour for the charity of Christ, whereby He 
humbled Himself to uke upon Him our humanity, 
that of a sooth it seemed as if his soul was drawn 
out of his body and was burning like a furnace. 
Not being able to endure this fire of love, he was 
in anguish and was altogether melted away, and 
cried out with a loud voice: for through the 
vehemence of the Holy Spirit and the too much 
fervour of his love, he could not refrain himself 
from crying out. And in that same hour wherein 
this immeasurable fervour came upon him, ther« 
came to him therewithal so strong and sure a hope 
of his salvation, that for naught in the world could 
he believe, that were he then to die, would he have 
need to pass through the pains of Purgatory ; and 
this love endured in him for full six months, albeit 
he felt not that excessive fervour continuously, but 



5'1 ■■? 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,53 

it c»me to him at certain hours of the day. And 
in that time he received marvellous visitati'^ns and 
consolations from God : and oftentimes he was 
rapt in ecstasy, even as was seen by that brother 
who first wrote of these things ; among the which 
at one time he was so lifted up and rapt in God, 
that he beheld in Him, the Creator, all created 
things both of heaven and earth, and all their per- 
fections, and grades, and distinct orders. And 
then he clearly knew how every created thinif pre- 
serited Itself to its Creator, and how God is above. 
«nd within and without, and beside all created 
things. Thereafter he perceived God as One in 
Three Persons, and Three Persons in One God • 
and the mfinite love that caused the Son of God' 
to become incarnate, in obedience to the Father 
And m the end he perceived in that vision how 
that there was no other way whereby the soul 
could come to God and have eternal life, save only 
through Christ, the blessed One, who is the Way 
the Truth, and the Life of the soui. 



CHAPTER LIII 

Hm Bnthir Mn tf Alv,rma, « h, wa, laying Mm,, fit, 
Jcwn as tm diad 

To the same Brother John in the aforesaid House 
of Moliano according as was told by the brothers 
that were there present, there befell on a time this 
marvellous case. On the first night after the octave 
ot !>. Lawrence, and within the octave of the 



jk .. ^^-^^^^^mm 



'Ml 



154 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

Assumption of Our Lady, having said Matins in 
the church with the other brothers, and feeling the 
unction of the divine grace coming upon him, he 
went into the garden for to meditate on the Passion 
of Christ, and prepare himself devoutly to celebrate 
Mass, which it fell to him to sing that morning. 
And as he was meditating on the words of con- 
secration of the Body of Christ, to wit, thinking 
upon the infinite love of Christ, whereby He willed 
not only to redeem us through His precious blood, 
but also to leave us for the food of our souls His 
most venerable Body and Blood, the love of the 
sweet Jesu began to grow in him with such fervour 
and such tenderness, that his soul might no more 
endure, for the sweetness that it felt ; but he cried 
aloud, and as if drunken in spirit, ceased not to say 
within himself: " Hoc est corpus meum ; " for as 
he spake these words he seemed to behold Christ, 
the blessed One, with the Virgin Mary and a great 
host of Angels, and was enlightened by the Holy 
Spirit in all the deep and lofty mysteries of that 
most high Sacrament. And when it was dawn, he 
entered mto the church with that same fervour of 
spirit and anxious thought, and the selfsame words 
upon his lips, not wotting that he was heard jr seen 
of any man ; but in the choir there was a certain 
brother at prayer, that saw and heard all. And in 
this fervour not being able to contain himself by 
reason of the fulness of the divine grace, he cried 
with a loud voice, and so continued until it was 
time to say the Mass ; wherefore he went to make 
himself ready for the altar. And when he had 
begun the Mass, the further he proceeded, the mors 



IW» 



y^jT 



& . 



iMa 






S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ijj 

did the love of Christ increase in him, and the fer- 

InZ,^ rTP' ,?'•"=«*«'' "» given unto him 
an unspeakable feelmg of God, such as he himself 
knew not of nor could thereafter tell forih with 
feel n^^nf ■r^'"r',^""8 'est that fervou. and 
feelmg of God should so much increase that he 
nLvi ■""'' 'r* ^he Mass. he fell into much per- 
plexity, and knew not what course to take, or to 

for that the hke case had befallen him on some 
other time, and the Lord had so tempered that 

^aht^ Kf ' *?'^ *i:"'""8 "•»' 'his time too he 
m^ht be able to do the same, with great fear he 

Zl =.T D%^° °? r"' ""= '^»''' »"<! ^ent as 
m.min ,• ^^Tu°^ °".' ^"^y- **«=" 'he divine 
Illumination and the gracious sweetness of the love 

cLi^ «!?t" n '?''"=.''.'° grow within him, that 
conimg to the Qu, pndie, he could scarce endure 
such utter sweetness. Having come at length to 
the act of consecration, and having said one half 
ot the words over the Host, to wit • " Hoc ' " 

~ll?!? v'' "° ■"""' P™'=«'' '""her, but only 
repeated the same words, to mt : " Hcc tit nim." 
And the reason wherefore he could proceed no 
turther, was this, that he felt and saw the presence 
m..W "l"" * Kf^t company of Angels, whose 
majesty he was not able to endure; and he saw 
that Chnst entered not into the Host, or that the 
m^?fl^!:"'^"°M''^"8o«i into the body of Christ, 
until he should utter the other half of the words 
to wit : corpus meum." Wherefore as he abode 
m this anxiety and could proceed no further the 






jiw 



156 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

guardian and the other brothers, and likewise many 
lay folk that were in the church for to hear Mass, 
drew near unto the altar : and were astonished to 
behold and see what things Brother John did : and 
many of them were weeping out of devotion. At 
the last, after long space, to wit, when so it pleased 
God, Brother John uttered the wordo : " eiiim corpus 
meum " in a loud voice ; and straightway the form 
of the bread vanished, and in the Host appeared 
Jesu Christ, the blessed One, incarnate and glori- 
fied, and showed forth to him the humility and 
love which made Him to become incarnate of the 
Virgin Mary, and which makes Him every day to 
come into the hands of the priest when he conse- 
crates the Host : for the which cause, he was the 
more lifted up in sweetness of ■( t.cemplation. 
Wherefore when he had elevated the Host and the 
consecrated chalice, he was rapt out of himself: 
and his soul being lifted up above all bodily feel- 
ings, his body fell backwards ; and if he had not 
been supported by the guardian, who stood behind 
him, he would have fallen on his back upon the 
ground. Whereat the brothers running up to him, 
and the lay folk, men and women, that were in the 
church, he was carried into the sacristy, as one 
dead, for his body was cold and the fingers of his 
hands were so tightly clenched that scarce could 
they at all be opened or moved. And in this 
manner he lay as one half dead, or rapt away, even 
until Tierce, and it was summer time. And be- 
cause I, who was there present, desired much to 
know what God had wrought in him, so soon as he 
had returned to himself again, I went to him and 



kr<^f^^ -^5ii^i-#.wiJxI"«L' f , 




<l 



|4 



\H 



I 



! ' 



\ ■ 



) 



w • 



ill f 



r^^^??!r,/f/!!j^ w: 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,57 

prayed him, for the love of God, to tell me all • 
wherefore, seem^ that he trusted much in me, he 
told all unto me m order; and among other things, 
he said, that as he was contemplating the body and 
blood of Jesu Christ present before him. his heart 
was melted like wax before the fire, and his flesh 
seemed to be without bones, in such fashion that 
he scarce could lift his arms or hands for to make 
the sign of the cross over the Host or the chalice. 
Likewise he told me that or ever he was made 
pnest It had been revealed him of God that he 
would faint away during the Mass, but seeing that 
he had said many Masses, and this had not befallen 
him. he deemed that the revelation had not been 
of God. Nevertheless about fifty days before the 
Assumption of Our Lady, whereon the aforesaid 
hap befell him, it had been again revealed to him 

• J r ""^' """* ™"" *° P»™ »'»"t the 

said feast of the Assumption ; but that he did not 
afterwards bear in mind the said vision, or revela- 
tion, m»rf» to him by our Lord. 



if 



i 



U I 



n 



i 






OF THE MOST HOLY STIGMATA OF 
S. FRANCIS AND REFLECTIONS 
THEREON 

In this part we shall gaze with devout reflection 
on the glorious and most holy Stigmata of our 
blessed Father, S. Francis, the which he received 
of Christ on His holy mount of Alvemia. And 
for that the said Stigmata were five in number, 
after the manner of the wounds of our Lord Jesu 
Christ, therefore this treatise will have five re- 
flections. 

The first reflection will be touching the manner 
in which S. Francis came to the holy mount of 
Alvemia. 

The second reflection will be touching the life 
that he lived, and the converse that he held with 
his companions on the said holy mount. 

The third reflection will be touching the 
seraphic vision and the imprinting of the most 
holy Stigmata. 

The fourth reflection will be of the manner in 
which S. Francis came down from the mount of 
Alvernia, after that he had received the holy Stig- 
mau, and returned to S. Mary of the Angels. 

The fifth reflection will be touching certain 
divine apparitions and revelations made after the 
death of S. Francis unto holy brothers and other 



tM-:jLm.fm^t^\mm 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ijj 

Stigm,T"°"' '°"'""^ *'"' "'** ''°''' ""* S'""""* 

Ofthefint refleciioH oh the most holy Stigmata 

As touching the first reflection, ye must needs 
know that a Francis, being forty'.nd thr« y„„* 
of .ge m the year 1224. being inspired of Go" 
«t out from the Vale of Spoleto for to go into 
Romagna with Brother Uo his companion ; and 

^f M '' rr, ' ""?' P*"^ ^y the foot Vf the Castle 
of Montefeltro; m the which Castle there was at 
^t t,me a great company of gentle folk, and 
much feastmg, by reason of the knighting of one 
F^ncf, h"""- ^T; of MontefelSo. ^And S 
r^^/ how that many gentle folk of diver. 

wth the help of God we may win some good fruit 

that country, that were of that knightly company, 
w.» » great and eke a we,lthy%entleman of 
Tuscany by name Orlando da Chiusi. of Casen- 
h«'h"K°^u'' "^T °^^^' m'rvellous things 
of S ^t^^t "C-*" »"«"y»"d the miracTS 
ot !>. irancis, bore him great devotion, and felt 
an exceeding strong desire to see him a^d to h^ 
mm pr«ch. Coming to the castle, & Francis 

T^^ZZ' """ ,'° *■" '^"""yrd where all 
t^!,f^ company of gentle folk was gathered 
together, and in fervour of spirit stood up 
upon a parapet, and began to preach, taking u 



'^1 



i: I 



160 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

the text of hij sermon these words in the vulgar 
tongue : 

So great the joy* I have io »ght. 
That eTiry lorrow briogi deligKt i 

and upon this text, as the Holy Spirit gave him 
utterance, he preached so devoutly and sublimely, 
citing as proof thereof the divers pains and 
martyrdoms of the holy Apostles and the holy 
Martyrs, and the hard penances of the holy Con- 
fessors, and the many tribulations and tempta- 
tions of the holy Virgins and the other saints, that 
all the folk stood with their eyes and their minds 
turned towards him, and gave such heed as 
though it were an angel of God speaking : among 
the which the said Orlando, touched in the heart 
by God through the marvellous preaching of S. 
Francis, set it in his heart to confer and to have 
speech with S. Francis, after the sermon, touching 
the state of his soul. Therefore, when the preach- 
ing was done, he drew S. Francis aside, and said 
unto him : " O father, I would confer with thee 
touching the salvation of my soul." Replied S. 
Francis : " It pleaseth me right well ; but go this 
morning and do honour to thy friends, who have 
called thee to the feast, and dine with them; 
and after thou hast dined, we will speak to^ 
ther as much as thou wilt." So Orlando gat him 
to the dinner: and after that he had dined, he 
returned to S Francis, and conferred with him, 
and set forth unto him fully the state of his soul. 
And at the end, this Orlando iiaid to S. Francis : 
" I have in Tuscany a mountain, most proper 
for devotion, the which is called the Mount of 



t^^i^4tr^^it^f'''^''m, h 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,6, 

hr'Jl^t' "'* " ■'?' '""'^ »"<* "ght well fitted 
for whoso may wish to do p<:„,„„ i„ a pUce re- 
mo e from men, or whoso may desire to live^ 
solitary l,fe;,f,t should please thee, right will! 
fof K'^ \-^'' '; " '^'' '"<» thy'corpanbn, 
\Z i- 1"^i","'"^°'^?'' ""'•" S. Francis hear- 
ing tk, hberal offer of the thing that he so much 
desired, rejoiced with exceedini great joy and 
praising and giving thanks first to^God "'a^d then 
to Orlando, he spake thus: "Orlando, when you 

thl^^i, / '"'' '=°"'P'"»°"» « ' you shall show 

^li„!?*2. P "''" "'* P"'*"". I accept your 
deci^^ TV°Z . ^'^ ">'' »'<'• S-Francil 
to S M *"^'r'''"/»JO""'ey was done, returned 

when the festivities of that knightly company 

chrusHhe'trr^ '° '■if ""''• "'^'''' '« ^s 

Alvernia m Tv"' .' ""' '»'^'»"' ^om 
Alvernia Whenas S. Francis had returned to S 

toTh'eliS'o^'lf' '■' T' '"^ °^''» "'"P'^ons 
to the said Orlando; who when they were come 
to him were received of him with exaed^^ Zt 

mount of Alvernia, he sent with them full fifty 

c«mt7 •r'^ *'■"' «ccompanied these brothers 
climbed up the mountain and searched diligently • 

?h.tw "'u^'' .",""= '° " P"' °f ">e mSn* 
that was well fitted for devotion and contemplatioi" 
for in that part there was some kvel ground ; and 
this place they chose out for them and for S. pAncU 

L 



I* 

I, 

f 



1 62 THE UTTL£ FLOWERS OF 

to dwell therein ; and with the help of the men-at- 
arms that bore them company, they made a little 
cell of branches of trees : and so they accepted in 
the name of God, and took possession of the 
mount of Alvernia and of the dwelling-place of 
the brothers on the mountain, and departed, and 
returned to S. Francis. And when they were come 
unto him, they told him how and in what manner 
they had taken a place on the mount of Alvernia, 
most fitted for prayer and meditation. Hearing 
these tidings, S. Francis was right glad, and praising 
and giving thanks to God, he spake to those 
brothers with joyful countenance, and said : " My 
sons, our forty days' fast of S. Michael the Arch- 
angel draweth near : I firmly believe that it is the 
will of God that we keep this fast on the mount of 
Alvernia, which by divine decree hath been made 
ready for us, to the end that to the honour and 
glory of God and of His Mother, the glorious 
Virgin Mary, and of the holy Angels, we may, 
through penance, merit at the hands of Christ the 
consolation of consecrating this blessed mountain." 
And thus saying, S. Francis took with him Brother 
Massco of Marignano by Assisi, the which was 
a man of great eloquence ; and Brother Angelo 
Tancredi of Rleti, the which was a man of very 
gentle birth and in the world had been a knight ; 
and Brother Leo, a man of exceeding great sim- 
plicity and purity, for the which cause S. Francis 
loved him much. And with these three brothers 
S. Francis set himself to pray, commended himself 
and his companions aforesaid to the prayers of the 
brothers that remained behind, and set out with 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSIST 163 

sTftTr. '" '^ t""' °^ J«'" Christ, the Cruci- 
hed, for to go to the mount of Alvernia And ,. 
he went. S. Francis called unto one of those thr." 

to seek a lodging, we will beg a little bread and 

p^.h-t^/3:--t^,i:^^^^^^ 

house of the brothers' or ar Itle or °i~,.e tSI 
mght overtaking them, and a w ather Kk 

feai-d ?h mTwVtirrnrwht?' -' 

p.nions slept. SFranci'sYhrew httrf'o ^'k^^^ 
o pray ; and behold in the fir^t watch of the nf^ht 
there came a great multitude of demons, exceeX 
fi^ce. wth a great noise and tumuu, and bSm "? 
do him grievous battle and annoy; wher^ the 
one plucked him this way and the other th«- one 
dragged h.m up and another down ; one thr«t'ened 
.noth" a°nd ^h'"^' *?.' "" °"--«"»^" m of 

n^-^^^^-::— "t::;jcy.oug^ 



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1 64 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

not, for that God was with him. Therefore whenas 
S. Francis had enough endured these assaults of 
the demons, he began to cry in a loud voice : " O 
damned spirits, ye can do naught, save what the 
hand of God alloweth you : wherefore in the name 
of God Almighty I bid you do unto my body 
whatever is permitted you of God; for gladly shall 
I bear it, sith I have no greater enemy than my 
body: and therefore if you avenge me of mine 
enemy, ye will do me good service." Then the 
demons with great fury and violence took hold of 
him, and began to drag him through the church, 
and to do him greater trouble and annoy than at 
the first. Thereat S. Francis began to cry aloud, 
and said : " My Lord Jesu Chnst, I give Thee 
thanks for the so great honour and charity that 
Thou showest me ; for it is a token of great love 
when the Lord punishes His servant for all his 
faults in this world, so that he be not punished in 
the next. And I am ready gladly to endure every 
pain and adversity, that Thou, my God, dost will 
to send me for my sins." Then the demons, put 
to confusion and vanquished by his patience and 
endurance, were away. And S. Francis in fervour 
of spirit left the church and entered into a wood 
that was there hard by, and threw himself upon his 
knees in prayer ; and with prayers and tears and 
beating of the breast he sought to find Jesu Christ, 
the spouse and the delight of his soul. 

And at the last finding Him in the secret places 
of his soul, he now bespake him with reverence as 
his Lord : now made answer to Him as his judge ; 
now besought Him as his father ; now held con- 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ifij 

verse with Him as with . friend. On that night 
within the wood, his companions, sith they wtre 
awake and were come to hear and marlc what he 

HevoT !f 'if-""'* i'""' ""'' "»" '"d cries, 
st„.r, '' J^"'='""8 God to have mercy upon 
sinners. Then was he seen and heard to w«p 
vnth a loud voice over the Passion of Christ, as 
though he saw it with his own eyes. On that 
selfsame night they beheld him praying with his 
arms stretched out in the form of a cfoss, for a 
great space uplifted and floating above the earth 
and surrounded by a cloud of glory. And so in 
such holy exercises he passed the whole night 
through without sleep. And thereafter in The 
morning, his companions, being ware that through 
the fatigues of the night, which he had passed 
jmhout sleep S Francis was much weakened in 
body and could but ill go on his way afoot, went 
to a poor peaant of those parts, and begged him 

Francis, their Father, that could not go afoot 
Heanng them make mention of Brothe? Francis, 
he asked them : " Are ye of the brethren of thai 
brother of Assisi, of whom so much good is 
spoken f The brothers answered : " Yes " and 
that in very sooth it was for him that they'asked 
for the sumpter beast. Then the good man, with 
great diligence and devotion, made ready the ass 
and brought it to S. Francis, and with great 
reverence let mount him thereon, and they tent 
on their way ; and he with them, behind his ass. 
And when they had gone on a little way, the 
peasant said to S. Francis: "Tell me, art thou 



,1/ 



U 

'i i 



1 66 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

Brother Francis of Assisi ? " Replied S. Francis : 
" Yes." " Try then," said the peasant, " to be 
as good as thou art of all folk held to be, seeing 
that many have great faith in thee ; and therefore, 
I admonish thee that in thee ther^ be naught save 
what men hope to find therein." Hearing these 
words, S. Francis thought no scorn to be ad- 
monished by a peasant, nor said within himself : 
" What beast is this doth admonish me ? " as many 
proud folk that wear the cowl would say now-a- 
days ; but straightway he threw himself from off 
the ass upon the ground, and kneeled him down 
before him, and kissed his feet ; and thus humbly 
thanked him for that he had deigned thus lovingly 
to admonish him. Then the peasant, together 
with the compcnions of S. Francis, with great 
devotion lifted him from the ground and set him 
on the ass again, and they went on their way. 
And when that they were come about half way 
up the mountain, as the heat was very great and 
the ascent was weary, the peasant became very 
thirsty, in such sort that he began to cry aloud 
behind S. Francis, saying : " Woe is me, for I die 
of thirst : if I find not something to drink, I shall 
choke outright." Wherefore S. Francis got down 
ofF the ass and fell on his knees in prayer ; and 
remained so long kneeling with his hands lifted up 
to heaven, until he knew by revelation that God 
had heard his prayer. Then said S. Francis to 
the peasant : " Run quickly to that rock, and there 
shalt thou find the living water, which Jesu Christ 
in this hour, of His mercy, hath made to come 
forth from out that rock." So he ran to the place 




A, 



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11 

li 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 167 

that S. Francis had shown him, and found a fair 
spnng that had been brought out of the hard rock 

ms mi thereof and was comlbrted. And it doth 
weU appear that this spring was brought out by 
^od in miraculous fashion at the prayers of S 
l-rancis, seeing that neither before nor after was 
there ever seen in that place a spring of water, nor 
any living water near to that place for a ereat 
space round. This done, S. Francis with his ?ora- 
IMnions and the peasant gave thanks unto God for 
the miracle shown forth to them, and then went 
they on their way. And as they drew near to 
the foot of the rock of Alvernia itself, it pleased 
i. francu to rest a little under the oak that was 
by the way, and is there to this day ; and as he 
stood under it. S. Francis began to take note of 
Uie situation of the place and of the country round 
And as he was thus gazing, lo ! there came a great 
multitude of birds from divers parts, the wSich 
with singing and flapping of their wings, al! showed 
joy and gladness exceeding great, and came about 
S. trancis m such fashion that some settled on his 
head, some on his shoulders, and some on his arms 
some m his lap, and some round his feet. When 
his companions and the peasant marvelled, behold- 
ing this, S. Francis, all joyful in spirit, spake thus 
unto them: "I believe, brothers most dear, that 

Ihi' l5 !)"'",? ""1° T ^'^ J^" Christ that we 
should dwell m this lonely mountain, seeing that 
our little sisters and brothers the birds show such 
joy at our coming." And said these words, they 
arose, and went on their way and came at last to 



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1 68 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

the place that his companions had first chosen. 
And this is touching the first reflection, to wit, 
how S. Francis came to the holy mount of 
Alvernia. 



Of the second reflection on the most holy Stigmata 

The second reflection is on the sojourning of 
S. Francis with his companions on the said mount 
of Alvernia. And as to this, ye must know that 
Orlando, hearing that S. Francis with three com- 
panions had climbed up the mount of Alvernia, 
for to dwell there, rejoiced with exceeding great 
joy, and on the following day set out with many of 
the folk of his castle, and came to visit S. Francis, 
bringing with him bread and wine and other 
victuals, for him and his companions ; and being 
come there, he found them at prayer ; and drawing 
near unto them, saluted them. Then S. Francis 
arose, and with great love and gladness gave wel- 
come to Orlando and his company ; and this done, 
they sat them down to have speech of each other. 
And after they had somewhat spoken together, and 
S. Francis had returned him thanks for the holy 
mountain that he had given him.and for his coming 
thither, he besought him that he would let build 
a poor little cell at the foot of a fair beech tree, 
the which was a stone's throw from the place 
where the brother? lived, for that place seemed 
to him very fit and hallowed for prayer. And 
straightway Orlando ht build it; and this done, 
as it was drawing near unto evening and it was 
time for them to depart, S. Francis preached unto 



.':t .wm^m^BHrnammm. ^^T'lr^ 







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u^m-tim. 



1 



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S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



169 



them a little, before they took leave of him ; and 
when he had preached unto them and given them 
his blessing, Orlando, finding he must needs de- 
part, called S. Fn:icis and his companions aside, 
and said unto them : " My brothers most dear I 
would not have you suffer any bodily want in this 
wild mounUin, whereby you- may be the less able 
to give heed to spiritual things : and therefore I 
desire, and this I say to you for once, for all, that 
ye securely send to my house for whatsoe'er ye 
need,_ and if ye do otherwise, I shall take it ill of 
you. And this said, he departed with his com- 
pany and returned to his castle. Then S. Fi cis 
made his companions to sit down and taught them 
what manner of life they ought to lead, both they 
and whoso desireth to live the religious life in a 
hermitage. And among other things, he straitly 
laid on them the observance of holy poverty, saying: 
"Take not such heed unto the charitable offer of 
Orlando, lest ye in any thing offend our Lady and 
Madonna, holy poverty. Be ye sure that the more 
we despise poverty, the more will the world de- 
spise us, and the more shall we suffer want; but 
if we cling to holy poverty with a close embrace, 
the whole world will follow after us and will 
abundantly provide for us. God hath called us 
into this holy Order for the salvation of the world, 
and hath made this pact between us and the world' 
that we give unto the world a good example and 
the world make provision for our needs. Let us 
then persevere in holy poverty, seeing that this is 
the way of perfectness and is an earnest and pledge 
of eternal riches." And after many beautifiji aSd 






1..::^ 



170 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

holy words and admonishments on this matter, he 
ended by saying : " This is the manner of life that 
I lay upon myself and upon you ; and sith I see 
that I draw near unto death, I am minded to be 
solitary, and to take refuge with God, and to 
bewail my sins before Him; and Brother Leo, 
when it seemeth to him good, shall bring to me 
a little bread and a little water ; and do ye in no 
wise suffer any that be of the world to come nigh 
me, but do ye answer them for me." And said 
these words, he gave them hi? blessing and went 
to his cell under the beech tree, and his companions 
remained in their own place, with firm purpose to 
do the tirf Jing of S. Francis. A few days there- 
after, as S. Francis was standing hard by the said 
cell, pondering on the form of the mountain, and 
marvelling at the huge clefts and openings in the 
mighty rocks, he set himself to pray : and then it 
was revealed to him of God that those marvellous 
clefts had been miraculously made in the hour of 
the Passion of Christ, when, as saith the Evangelist, 
the rocks were rent asunder. And it was the will 
of God that this should in especial manner be made 
manifest upon that mount of Alvernia, for that 
there the Passion of our Lord Jesu Christ should 
be renewed in his soul through love and pity, and 
in his body through the imprinting of the most 
holy Stigmata. So soon u he had received this 
revelation, straightway S. Francis shut himself up 
in his cell and was wholly wrapped within himself, 
and set himself to pay heed unto the mystery of 
that revelation. And from that time forth S. 
Francis, through unceasing prayer, began more oft 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,7, 

^^hTu k'"' V^'P'^ °f divine contemplation, 
r^w«l " "^''"t""" was rapt in God/so tha 
from^ff fj? '' *"' ""Pfnio"' to be lifted bodily 
hiZlf T f""''' ""^ »''°g«her taken out of 
himself. In these raptures of contemplation there 
w,^e revealed to him of God not only things p«tent 

su^es of the brothers, even as Brother Leo, his 
T^^°l'u'^^"^^ '^"'°^ '" I'™""" 'hat day. 
lil ! '1^'°"'" ^° "^'"e "«"«d by the dev^l 
Tf rh. .^- T '^P^'"". "Ot of the flesh but 
hive LmL"H' ": "'"' '° '■''" » ?^«" ''"i'' to 
S F«T ? T* t"""" *"""" ^y the hand of 
S. l-rancis, for he thought that if he had it that 

«ke he dared not tell it to S. Francis: but ».hat 
Broher Uo told h^m not, that did the Holv 

unto hmi, and made h.m bring ink-pot and pen 

^.^^/n-t "'"' ^K^"" hand^wrote ^e 
^^ ?l Chnst even a. the brother had desired ; 

?t^o hi^ ""* ^Ti^? "•' "8" Tau, and gave 
It to h,m, saymg : " Take this paper, dear brother, 
and keep >t diligently until thy d«th. May God 
Ue^ thee and guarf thee against .11 tempt«To^ 
Be not downcast, because thou hast tempu'ions- 

«rvant of God, and the more thou art as«iiled by 
temptations, the more do I love thee. Verily I 
rL"e"frie'^? 'f'r!^ man should deem him^lf 

^ ^hr^i^ °^' ""• '" '° *■" " »>= hath 
P«»»«l through many temptations and tribula- 



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i7» THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

tions." When Brother Leo took this writing 
with great devotion and faith, straightway all his 
temptation left him; and returning to his own 
place, he told his companions, with great joy, what 
grace God had shown unto him when he took the 
writing from S. Francis ; and putting it aside and 
taking diligent care thereof, the brothers after- 
wards worked many miracles by its means. And 
from that hour forth, the said Brother Leo with 
great purity and with good intention began tu ^eep 
watch upon and to omcrre the life of S. Francis : 
and for his purity's sake, he merited to see S. 
Francis full many and many a time rapt in God 
and uplifted from the earth, at one time to the 
height of three cubits, at another to that of four, 
at another to the height of the beech tree : and at 
another tim'r he beheld him lifted up in the air so 
high, and surrounded with such splendour, that 
he scarce could see him. And what did this simple 
brother do, when S. Francis was uplifted from the 
earth but a little way, so that he could reach him I 
He went softly to him and embraced his feet and 
kissed them, and spake with tears : " My God, 
have mercy on me a sinner, and through the merits 
of this holy man grant me to find Thy grace." 
And one time among others, as thus he .tood 
beneath the feet of S. Francis when he was lifted 
up so &r that he could not touch him, he saw a 
scroll written in letters of gold come down firom 
heaven, and rest on the head of S. Francis, and on 
the scroll were written these words : " Here is the 
grace of God ; " and after that he had read it, he 
saw it return tr -i-tven. Through the gift of that 



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nKniHKK ir.. KVMIIN.. i:KM.Hh v IK\N(I> |N 



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S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,73 

grace of God that was in him, S. Francis was not 
only rapt in God in ecstatic contemplation, but 
also at sundry times comforted by the visiution of 
angels. Thus, as S. Francis was one day thinking 
on his death and of the state of his Order when 
his life was done, and saying: "O Lord God 
what will become of Thy poor little family after 
my death, the which of Thy goodness Thou hast 
entrusted to me a sinner ? who will pray to Thee 
for them ? " and other such words, there appeared 
unto him an Angel sent by God, and comforted 
him, saying : " I tell thee in the name of God, that 
the profession of the Order will never fail until 
the Day of Judgment, and there will be no sinner 
so great as not to find mercy with God, if with 
his whole heart he love thine Order; and none 
shall live long, that of malice persecutes thy Order 
Moreover no very wicked person within thy Order 
that does not amend his life, will be able to remain 
long m the Order. Wherefore grieve not thyself, 
if in thine Order thou see certain that be not good 
brothers and do not observe the Rule as they ought 
and think not that thereby this Order wUl decline • 
for always a many shall be found therein that will 
perfectly observe the Gospel life of Christ and the 
punty of the Rule ; and all such, immediately 
after the death of the body, shall go into life 
eternal without passing at all through Purgatory • 
some will observe it, but not perfenly, and these 
before they go to Pkradise, will be in Purgatory, 
but the time of their purification shall be left by 
God to thee. But of him that observes not the 
Rule at all, do thou take no heed, saith God for 



I 



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i 



174 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

of such He Himself taketh no heed." And said 
these words, the Angel was away, and S. Francis 
remained comforted and consoled. Thereafter, as 
the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady drew 
near, S. Francis sought how he might find a place 
more solitary and secret, wherein he might the 
more solitary keep the forty days' fast of S. 
Michael the Archangel, which beginneth with the 
laid feast of the Assumption. Wherefore he 
called unto him Brother Ij:o, and said : "Go and 
stand in the doorway of the oratory where the 
brothers lodge, and when I call thee, return to 
me again." So Brother Leo went; and stood in 
the doorway ; and S. Francis withdrew himself a 
little space, and called aloud. Hearing him call, 
Brother Leo returned to him again ; and S. Francis 
said to him : " Son, let us seek for another more 
secret place, where thou canst not thuswise hear 
me when I call." 

And as they searched, they found on the side 
of the mountain that looked towards the south, 
a lonely place and very proper for his purpose ; 
but they could not win there ; because in front 
there was a horrible and fearful cleft in a huge 
rock ; wherefore with great pains they laid a piece 
of wood over it as a bridge and got across to the 
other side. Then S. Francis sent for the other 
brothers and told them how he was minded to 
keep the forty days' fast of S. Michael in that 
lonely place ; and therefore he besought them to 
make him a little cell there, so tha' no cry of his 
could be heard by them. And when the cell was 
made, S. Francis said to them : " Go ye to your 



•—If 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 175 

without disturbance or distraction, and tlierrfore 
let none of you come unto me, nor suffer any lav 
folk to come to me. But, Brother Leo, thou alone 
Shalt come to me, once a day, with a little bread 
and water, and at night once again at the hour of 
Matms; and then shalt thou come to me in silence, 
and when thou art at the bridge-head, thou shal 
say : Dom.ne, labm mea aper,es ; ' and if I answer 
thee cross over and come to the cell, and we will 
say Matms together; and if I answer thee not, then 
depart straightway." And this S. Francis said bjl 
cause at certain times he had been so rapt in God, 
that he nor heard nor felt aught with the bodily 
senses. And this said, S. Francis gave them hi^ 

tZ"H ^i'^'r^r^'^ =«"" '° their own 
P^ace And the feast of the Assumption being now 
come, S. Francis began the holy fast with great 
abstinence and severity, mortifying his body and 
comforting his spirit with fervent prayers, L^ 
and scourging,; and in the« prayers eve^ grow- 
mg from virtue to virtue he made ready hi! soul 
to receive the divme mysteries and the divine splen- 
dour, and his body to endure the cruel asiult. 
of the demons, with whom he oftentimes fought 

Trir^'n ■ "Jl' ?** "'?°"8 °"''"' " befell on 
.me during that fast, that S. Francis leaving hi, 
ce 1 one day in fervour of spirit and going «ide 
a little to pray in a hollow of the roclf, frfm the 
which down to the ground is an exceeding deep 
descent and a horrible and fearful precipice,l,ud- 
denly the devil came in terrible shape, with a 



R 






'1 



1*1 



i7fi THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

tempest and exceeding loud roar, and struck at 
him for to push him down thence. S. Francis, 
not having where to flee, and not being able to 
endure the grim aspect of the demon, he turned 
him quickly with hands and face and all his body 
pressed to the rock, commending himself to God, 
and groping with his hands, if perchance he might 
find aught to cling to. But as it pleased God, who 
sufiereth not His servants to be tempted above 
that they are able to bear, suddenly by a miracle 
the rock to which he clung hollowed itself out in 
fashion as the shape of his body, and so received 
him into itself, and like as if he had put his hands 
and face in melted wax, even so was the form of 
the face and hands of S. Francis imprinted on the 
rock ; and thuswise helped of God he escaped out 
of the hands of the demon. But that which the 
demon could not then do unto S. Francis, to wit, 
push him down thence, he did a good while after 
the death of S. Francis, unto one of his dear and 
pious brothers, who was setting in order some pieces 
of wood in the selfsame place, to the end that it 
might be possible to win there without peril, out 
of devotion to S. Francis and the miracle that was 
wrought there ; on a day the demon pushed him, 
while he had on his head a great log that he wished 
to set there, and made him fall down thence with 
the log upon his head. But God that had preserved 
and delivered S. Francis from falling, through his 
merits delivered and preserved his pious brother 
from the peril of his fall : for the brother, as he 
fell, with exceeding great devotion commended 
himself in a loud voice unto S. Francis ; and 



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""-'™ rI'!!!!'','",?'!, "*'" '"' ""''"■ '''"""' 



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S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,77 

hi^^^T'' ^ "PP"""^ ""^ him, .nd etching 
in?'l,T^ .""/7" "r" ""= '■°'='"' ""hout suffer- 
o^L h^„!h 1 °'"- ''"?'' °' *"y ''"''■ Then the 

oTh^.Mf'" ""^.""^ ^"''''' '" P««» by reason 
with c^ V ■" '"''' *j'"8'" "P°" '^' 'harp rocks, 
and cfmT/^'^r *"u '"'^P'-'K took up the bier 
t„ jr "l"!? """^ '''*' °^ 'he mountain for 
tLl wlJP I '"g'"'="» °f his body and bury 
mo^;. t" "!.''' r" ""^ '""^ '1°'"' from the 
with tht'u " ''l°"l" ^h" had fallen met them 
with the log upon his head wherewith he had fallen 
and he was s.ngmg TV Deum Uudamm in a loud 
voice And the brothers murvelling exceedingly 
he told unto them in order .11 the manner offi 
^l^r^rT '• .^ll^'lhad delivered him from 
,1^ \ ■" ■'" 'he brothers went with him 

nl m V^n ""?"§ '"™* ^"°«'y 'he aforesaid 
psalm, T>Deum kuJamus.^nd praising and giving 

h« H h^"* '"''J" ^- ^""'" f°^ 'he m^racl! 

K-i CI? 'f^fght upon their brother. Now 
h»U^ ? "." J"'=P'"« 'he aforesaid fast, as 

hath been set forth above, albeit he suffered many 
awaults of the evil one, nevertheless he receiv J 
ot God much consolation, not only through the 

TZ Fof ^ ^"' "If '^""Sh the birds of the 
wood. For during all the time of that fast, a 
fa con, that was building her nes£ hard by his 
cell woke him every night a little before Matins 
with her singing and the beating of her wines 
J«.inst the eel , and went not away until he ™!e 
up to say Matins; and when perchance S.Francis 
was at one time more wearied than at another, 

M 



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178 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

or sickly or weak, this falcon, like a discreet person 
and pitiful, would sing her song later. And so 
S. Francis had great joy of this clock ; for the 
great carefulness of the falcon kept far from him 
all idleness, and spurred him on to pray ; and be- 
yond all this, she would sometimes in the day- 
time sit quite tamely by him. Finally, as touch- 
ing this second reflection, S. Francis being much 
weakened in body through his sharp abstinence, 
and through the assaults of the devil, and desiring 
to comfort the body with the spiritual food of the 
soul, began to think on the imn.easurable glory and 
joy of the blessed in the life eternal ; and there- 
withal began to pray God to grant him the grace of 
tasting a little of that joy. And as he continued 
in this thought, suddenly there appeared unto him 
an Angel with exceeding great splendour, having 
a viol m his left hand and in his right the bow ; 
and as S. Francis stood all amazed at the sight of 
him, the Angel drew the bow once across the viol • 
and straightway S. Francis was ware of such sweet 
melody that his soul melted away for very sweet- 
ness and was lifted up above all bodily feeling ; in- 
somuch that, as he afterwards told his companions, 
he doubted that, if the Angel had drawn the bow a 
second time across the strings, his mind would have 
left his body (or the all too utter sweetness thereof. 
And this touching the second reflection. 

0/ ,Ae third reflection on the most holy Stigmata 

Coming to the third reflection, to wit, on the 
seraphic vision and the imprinting of the most holy 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,79 

Stigmata, ye must needs know, that as thr tim. c 
the fest of the most holy C. oU d" w ^^Ttht 
month of September, one night Brother So w« 
to the wonted place and at the wonted houX 

Uom,nt,lah,a mia apmts from the bridge-head as 

Broth /""^Z"" ^- ^"'■^'' """ie n^ an^er 
Brother Leo did not eo back arrain ,„ s '"'"'f- 

the wood: and at last he heard thevolce of S 
France, and, drawing near, saw him on Ms kL. 
m prayer, w,th face and hands raised up to Heaven • 
thn . n °" °'^'P'"' •■« *" "yi"g: "Who art' 

Leo. marvellmg thereat, lifted up his eves unto 

vlic; f.::" t^ke'-w'itrktAti^z &t • 

could not understand the w"c:^';.''"'H^°^n^^hU° 
and deeming himself unworthy to stan" »^W 



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1.14 



i8o THE UTTUE FLOWERS OF 

perchance he should perceive him, he softly drew 
back, and standing afar ofF, waited to see the end : 
and gazing with eyes fixed, he saw S. Francis 
stretch out his hands three times to the flame : and 
at the last after long space of time he saw the flame 
return to heaven. So, gladdened by the vision, he 
softly tunied away for to go to his cell again. And 
as he was going softly, deeming himself unseen, S. 
Francis was aware of him by the rustling of the 
leaves beneath his feet, and bade him wait for him, 
and not to move. Then Brother Leo, obedient, 
stood still and waited with such fear that, as he 
afterwards told his companions, at that moment 
he would rather that the earth had swallowed him 
up than wait for S. Francis, who he thought would 
be displeased with him : for with great diligence 
he took heed not to oflfend his father, lest for his 
fault S. Francis might deprive him of his company. 
Then S. Francis coming up to him, asked him : 
" Who art thou ? " And Brother Leo all trembling 
answered : "I am Brother Leo, my father." And 
S. Francis said unto him : " Wherefore art thou 
come hither, brother little sheep .' have I not told 
thee not to come watching me ? Tell me by holy 
obedience whether thou hast seen or heard aught." 
Replied Brother Leo : *' Father, I heard thee speak 
and say several times : Who art thou, O most 
sweet my God ? What am I, most vile worm and 
Thine unprofitable servant ! " Then Brother Leo, 
kneeling down before S. Francis, confessed the 
fault of disobedience that he hid committed 
against his bidding, and besought his pardon with 
many teus. And thereafter he devoutly prayed 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ig, 

tTJ° ".'"''"l,T° ''''" ""= """J' 'hat he had 
heard, and to tell him what were those that he had 
not understood. Then S. Francis seeing that God 
had revealed unto the humble Brother Leo, or 
had permuted h.m to hear and see certain thing,, 
for h,s simplicity and purity's sake, deigned to 
revMl and interpret unto him that which he had 
sheel 'Jt r^' 'u"' '■ : '^"°*' ''^'her little 
th^^.hn^H-;} K™'' *t" "'"" ^ 'P''^^ the word, 
wn I K? t' '''»'•"'" were shown to my soul 
two l^hts, the one of the knowledge and under- 
standing of myself, the other of the knowkcVe 
and understanding of the Creator. When I said ■ 

I in ."f- 't\^ """^ 7'"' -"y G«l-' then wa, 
1 m a light of contemplation, in the which I »w 

power of God, and when I said. What am I ? I 
w« in a light of contemplation in the which I «w 

miJr"?'''if ''5P'\°^. "y °''" ^""~» -nd 
miKry ; and therefore I aid : Who art thou. Lord 

ot infinite goodness and wisdom, that dost deien 

A„H i" T'i^" ""u " '!'*= *°™ '■"* »l>omin.bl?? 
And in the flame that thou Mwest, wa, God : who 

l5* t 'H '" , '"*""*'■ "'"° ■"=• «*" " '» old time 
o,h,;,K''' u" ""'°.M<»"- And among the 
other thing, that he said unto me. He asked me 
to give Him three gifts; and I answered Him ■ 

^ell ^«'l /" "^°"? "^"""'^ Thou knowe.t 
the ;,!.H A t\ ""Sht el« ttve the tunic and 
the cord and the ho,e, and even thcM three thing, 

tI m"' "'!" '^'" "" ' °f^' »nd give unTo 
Thy M^esty > Then God aid unto mr : Search 
in thy bowm and give me what thou findest there 



i 



f\ 



i8i THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

So I searched and found a ball of gold ; and I 
offered it to God ; and so did I three times, as God 
three times gave me commandment : and then I 
kneeled down three times, and blessed and gave 
thanks unto God, that had given me what to offer 
unto Him. And straightway it was given me to 
understand, that the meaning of these three offer- 
ings was holy obedience, most high poverty, and 
glorious chastity, the which God by His grace hath 
granted me to observe so perfectly that m naught 
doth my conscience reprove me. And even as thou 
didst see me put my hands into my bosom and 
offer to God these three virtues signified under the 
form of the three balls of gold, which God had 
put into my bosom ; even so hath God given me 
virtue within my soul, that for all the benefits and 
all the eraces that He hath granted me of His 
most holy goodness, I alway praise and magnify 
Him with my heart and lips. These are the words 
that thou didst hear when I lifted up my hand 
three times, as thou sawest. But ttke heed, brother 
i ttle sheep, that thou come not watching me, and 
return to thy cell with the blessing of God, and do 
thou have a tender care of me ; for a few days 
hence God will do so great things in this mountain 
that all the world will marvel ; sith He will per- 
form certain new things, the which He hath never 
done unto any creature in this world." And said 
these words, he bade him bring the book of the 
Gospels ; for God had put it into his soul that by 
the opening of the book of the Gospels three times, 
it would be revealed to him what it was the will 
of God to do with him. And when the book was 



*jm- 




I 



Ti 



} 



. ( 






S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 183 

brought, S. Francis threw himself on his knees in 
prayer : when he had done praying, he let open 
the book three times by the hand of Brother Leo, 
in the name of the most holy Trinity ; and as it 
pleased the divine providence, on each of those 
three times there appeared before him the passion 
of Christ. For the which cause it was given him 
to understand that even as he had followed Christ 
in the acts of his life, so ought he to follow Him 
■nd be conformed to Him jn His afflictions and 
sorrows and in His passion, before he passed away 
from this life. And from that time forth, S. 
Francis began more plenteously to taste and feel 
the sweetness of divine contemplation and of the 
divine visitings. Among the which he had one 
that wa» an immediate preparation for the im- 
printing of the most holy Stigmata, and it was 
after this manner. On the day before the feast 
of the most holy Cross, in the month of Septem- 
ber, as S. Francis was praying in secret in his cell, 
there appeared unto him the Angel of God, and 
be»ptke him in the name of God : " I am come to 
comfort and admonish thee, that thou make thy- 
self ready and set thyself in order, humbly with 
all patience to receive whatsoever God will give to 
thee and work in thee." Replied S. Francis : " I am 
ready to endure with patience all things whatsoever 
my Lord may will to do unto me : " and this said, 
the angel was away. So the next day came, to wit' 
the day of the moat holy Cross : and early in the 
morning before dawn, S. Francia fell on his knees 
in prayer in front of the entrance to his cell, and 
turning his face towards the East, prayed in this 



I 



i84 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

manner : " Oh my Lord Jesu Christ, I pray Thee 
grant me two graces, before I die : the first, that 
m my life-time I may feel in my soul and in my 
body, so far as may be, the pain that Thou, sweet 
Lord, didst bear in the hour of Thy most bitter 
passion ; the second is, that I may feel in my heart, 
as far as may be, that exceeding love, wherewith 
Thou, O Son of God, wast kindled to willingly 
endure such agony for us sinners." And as he 
thus continued a long time in prayer, he came to 
know that God would hear him and that as far as 
was possible for the mere creature, so far would it 
be granted him to feel the things aforesaid. Having 
this promise, S. Francis began with exceeding great 
devotion to contemplate the passion of Chritt and 
His infinite love : and the fervour of devotion so 
grew in him that he was altogether transformed 
mto Jesu through love and pity. And as he was 
thuswise set on fire in this contemplation, on that 
same mom he saw descend from heaven a Seraph 
with six wings resplendent and aflame, and as with 
swift flight the Seraph drew nigh unto S. Francis, 
so that he could discern him, he clearly saw that 
he bore in him the image of a man crucified : and 
his wings were in such guise displayed, that two 
wings were spread above his head, two were spread 
out to fly, and the other twain covered all his body. 
Seeing this, S. Francis was sore adread, and was 
filled at once with joy and grief and marvel. He 
felt exceeding joy at the gracious look of Christ, 
who appeared to him so lovingly, and gazed on him 
so graciously : but on the other hand, seeing him 
crucified upon the cross, he felt immeasurable grief 



"rmx^.^ ii^.:^ 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 185 

for pity's sake. Therewith, he marvelled much at 
so amazing and unwonted a vision, knowing full 
well that the weakness of the Passion agreeth not 
with the immortality of the seraphic spirit. And 
as he thus marvelled, it was revealed by Him that 
appeared to him : that by divine providence this 
vision had been shown in such form, to the end 
that he might understand that not by the martyr- 
dom of the body, but by the enkindling of his 
mind, must he needs be wholly transformed into 
the express image of Christ Crucified, in that won- 
drous apparition. Then the whole mount of Al- 
vernia appeared as though it burned with bright- 
shming flames, that lit up all the mountains and 
valleys round as though it had been the sun upon 
the earth ; whereby the shepherds, that were keep- 
ing watch in those parts, seeing the mountain 
aflame and so great a light around, had exceeding 
great fear, according as they afterwards told unto 
the brothers, declaring that this flame rested upon 
the mount of Alvernia for the space of an hour and 
more. In like manner, at the bright shining of 
this light, which through the windows lit up the 
hostels of the country round, certain muleteers that 
were going into Romagna, arose, believing that the 
day had dawned, and saddled and laded their beasts: 
and going on their way, they saw the said light die 
out and the material sun arise. In the said seraphic 
apparition, Christ, the which appeared to him, spake 
to S. Francis certain high and secret things, the 
which S. Francis in his life-time desired not to re- 
veal to any man : but after his life was done, he did 
reveal them, as Is set forth below ; and the words 



■■g 



h 



i 



1 1 



It 



186 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

were these : " Knowest thou," said Christ, " what 
It IS that I have done unto thee ? I have given 
thee the Stigmata, that are the signs of my passion, 
to the end that thou mayest be my standard-bearer. 
And even as on the day of ray death I descended 
into hell and brought out thence all the souls that 
1 found there by virtue of these my Stigmata • 
even so do I grant to thee that every year on the 
day of thy death thou shalt go to Purgatory, and 
m virtue of thy Stigmata shalt bring out thence all 
the souls of thy three Orders, to wit. Minors, Sisters 
and Continents, and likewise others that shall have 
had a great devotion unto thee, and shalt lead them 
unto the glory of Paradise, to the end that thou 
mayest be conformed to me in death, as thou art 
in life." Then this marvellous vision vanishing 
away, after long space and secret converse, left in 
the heart of S. Francis an exceeding ardour and 
flame of love divine : and in his flesh a marvellous 
image and copy of the passion of Christ. For 
straightway in the hands and feet of S. Francis 
began to appear the marks of the nails, in such 
wise as he had seen them in the body of Jesu Christ 
the Crucified, the which had shown Himself to 
him in the likeness of a seraph : and thus his hands 
and feet appeared to be pierced through the middle 
with nails, and the heads of them were in the palms 
of his hands and the soles of his feet outside the 
flesh, and their points came ou' ci the back of his 
hands and of his feet, so that rhey seemed bent 
back and rivetted in such fa .hioii that under the 
bend and rivetting, which all stood out above the 
flesh, might easily be put a finger of the hand, as 



l\ 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



187 



in a ring : »nd the heads of the nails were round 
and black. Likewise in the right side appeared an 
image of a wound made by a lance, unhealed, and 
red and bleeding, the which afterwards ofttimes 
dropped blood from the sacred breast of S. Francis, 
and stained with blood his tunic and his hose.' 
Wherefore his companions before they knew it 
of his own lips, perceiving nevertheless that he 
uncovered not his hands and feet, and that he 
could not put the soles of his feet to the ground ; 
and afterwards finding his tunic and his hose all 
suined with blood, what time they washed them, 
knew of a surety that in his hands and feet and 
likewise in his side he bore the express image and 
similitude of our Lord Jesu Christ Crucified. 
And albeit he sought carefully to hide and to 
conceal those glorious and most holy Stigmata, so 
clearly imprinted on his flesh : and sith on the other 
hand he saw that he could ill conceal them from 
his own familiar friends: yet feared to spread 
abroad the secrets of God, he stood in much doubt 
if best it were to reveal the seraphic vision, the 
imprinting of the most holy Stigmata. At length 
through the pricking of conscience, he called unto 
him certain of his companions that were his more 
familiar friends, and setting forth unto them his 
doubt in general terms, without making mention 
of the actual fact, he asked their counsel. Now 
among these brothers there was one of great 
sanctity, whose name was Brother lUuminato : he 
being truly illumined of God, understanding that 
S. Francis must needs have seen some marvellous 
thing, answered him ; " Brother Francis, know that 



'T> 



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MKtocorv RsouinoN mr chart 

(ANSI and tSO TEST CHART No. 2) 






lil ^^^^ 



u 



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y^PPLED tVUGE Ine 



1«3 Cm( How Slrwt 



(T1») *aj -OJOO- 



'4 



1 88 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

not for thyself alone, but also for others' sake, hath 
CTod at sundry times revealed to thee His holy 
mysteries ; wherefore thou hast good reason for to 
tear, that, if thou keep secret what God hath shown 
thee for the benefit of others, thou mayest be held 
worthy of llame." Then S. Francis moved by 
these words, with exceeding great fear told unto 
them all the manner and the form of the vision 
set forth above ; adding that Christ, the which had 
appeared to him, had given him certain things that 
he would never tell, so long as he lived. And 
albeit those most holy wounds, inasmuch as Christ 
had imprinted them, gave to his heart exceedine 
joy : nathless to his flesh and the senses of his body 
they gave pam unbearable. So that, constrained 
by necessity, he chose out Brother Leo, as above 
the rest the most simple and most pure, and to 
him he revealed the whole, and suffered him to 
see and touch those holy wounds, and swathe them 
m bands to assuage the pain, and to receive the 
blood that tnckled from the said wounds; the 
which bands, in time of sickness, he sufltred him 
to change often, and even everyday, save from 
Thursday evening until Saturday morning; be- 
cause during that time he would not that the pain 
of the passion of Christ, which he hon in his body, 
should a whit be lessened by any human medicine 
or remedy ; for at that time our Saviour Jesu Christ 
had been for our sakes taken and was crucified, 
dead and buned. It befell on a time that ai 
Brother Leo was changing the bandage of the 
wound in the side, S. Francis, for the pain that he 
felt when the blood-stained bandages were loosed, 



ConwCantofr.inacC-ho i 



-'S^ 






,-.ct 



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^ /?r 



^t ' ^S','' '- 






H VNI I- k|..C f[M.> nil. M 



H 



I' ' 



'I I 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



189 



laid his hand upon the breast of Brother Leo ; and 
at the touch of those holy hands, Brother Leo felt 
such sweetness of devotion in his heart, that he 
well-nigh fell upon the ground half-dead. And 
tt the last, touching this third reflection, S. Fran- 
cis having ended the forty days' fast of S. Michael 
the Archangel, set himself by divine revelation to 
return to S. Mary of the Angels. Wherefore 
he called unto him Brother Masseo and Brother 
Angelo; and after many words and holy admonish- 
ments, commended that holy mountain into their 
charge with what earnestness he might, saying that 
as for himself it behoved him with Brother Leo to 
return to S. Mary of the Angels. And this said, 
he took leave of them and blessed them in the 
name of Jesu Crucified, and yielding to their 
prayers, he stretched out to them his most holy 
hands adorned with those glorious and sacred 
Stigmata, to see, to touch, and kiss : and so leaving 
them comforted, he departed from them and went 
down from the holy mountain. 

Of the fourth refliclion on the most holy Stigmata 

As to the fourth reflection, ye must know that 
after the true love of Christ had perfectly trans- 
formed S. Francis in God and in the true image 
of Christ Crucified, having finished the fast of 
forty days in honour of S. Michael the Archangel, 
upon the holy mount of Alvernia ; after the feast 
of S. Michael, that angel-like man, S. rrancis, 
came down from the mountain, with Brother Leo 
and a devout peasant, on whose ass he sat, sith by 






190 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

reason of the nails in his f.et he could ill go afoot. 
When therefore S. Francis had come down from 
the mountam the fame of hU sanctity was noised 
already throughout the country, and the shepherds 
had spread it abroad how they had seen the mount 
of Alvernia all aflame, and how that this was the 
sign of some great miracle that God had wrought 

X"h i, J '?,""' P'°P'" "'■«''= P»"» through 

which he passed, all came out to meet him, both 
men and women, small and great: and they all 
with great devotion and desire, sought to touch 
him and to kiss his hands ; and he not being able 
to es^pe the devotion ,f the people, albeit he had 
bound up the palms of his hands, yet the better to 
hide the most holy Stigmata, he bound them up 
still more and covered them with his sleeves and 
gave them only the fingers to kiss. But for all 
his pams to hide and to conceal the mystery of 
the most holy Stigmata, to avoid all occasion of 
worldly glory, it pleased God for His own glory 
to show forth many miraJes, by virtue of thisaid 
most holy Stigmata; and above all in that journey 
from Alvernia to S. Mary rf the Angels ; as well 
as very many thereafter in divers parts of the 
world, in his life-time and after his glorious 
death; to the end that their hidden and marvel- 
lous virtue, and the exceeding love and mercy of 
Christ towards him m His marvellous gift of them 
mieht be shown forth to the world, through dea^ 
and evident miracles ; whereof we will set forth 
certain in this place. Now at that time as S. 
f^TI^V" ^PV"^ "«h to a village that was on 
the borders of the county of Arezzo, there came 



ii 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 191 

to meet him a woman, weeping bitterly, with her 
son in her arms, the which was eight years old and 
had had the dropsy four years; and his body was 
so terribly swollen that, when he stood upright he 
could not see his feet ; and this woman laid her 
son down before him, and besought him that he 
would pray to God for him. Then S. Francis first 
set himself to pray, and then, done the prayer, laid 
his holy hands on the body of the child, and 
straightway all the swelling was allayed, and he 
was made every whit whole, and he gave him back 
to his mother, who receiving him with exceeding 
gnat joy and taking him home again, gave thanks 
to God and to S. Francis, and willingly showed her 
son that was healed to all of that country that came 
to her house for to see him. The self-«ame day 
b. Francis passed through Borgo San Sepolcro, and 
before he drew nigh the place, crowds came to meet 
him from that place and from the town, and many 
went before him with branches cf olive in their 
hands, crymg aloud: "Behold, the Saint! behold 
the Saint !" and for the devotion and desire that the 
people had to touch him, there was a great throng 
and press about him : but he, going on with mind 
through contemplation uplifted and rapt in God 
albeit the people touched and held and plucked 
at him, like one insensible, knew naught at all of 
what was done and said around him ; nor was he 
ware that he was passing through that place or 
through that country. Having passed through 
the town, when the crowds had returned to their 
homes, he came to a lazar-house, a full mile beyond 
the town, and returning to himself again, as one 



192 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

coming from another world, the celestial con- 
templative asked his companion : " When shall we 
be near the town ? " Of a truth his soul, fixed 
and rapt in contemplation of heavenly things, had 
taken no heed of any earthly thing, nor the 
changes of place, nor of time, nor of folk that 
met them by the way. And even so it befell 
many other times even as his companions with 
clear knowledge had proof thereof. That evening 
S. Francis came to the house of the brothers of 
Monte Casale, in which house was a brother so 
cruelly sick and so horribly tormented by his sick- 
ness, that his disease seemed rather some infliction 
and torment of the devil than a natural sickness ; 
for sometimes he would throw himself flat upon 
the ground with a great trembling and with foam- 
ing at the mouth ; then all the muscles of his body 
would shrink ; now would they stretch, now bend, 
now twist ; now his heels would be drawn up to 
the nape of his neck, and he would leap high in 
the air and at once fall flat upon his back. And 
as S. Francis sat at table, hearing from the brothers 
of this brother so miserably sick and so incurable, 
he had compassion upon him ; and taking a bit of 
bread, that he was eating, he made over it the sign 
of the most holy Cross with his holy pierced hands, 
and gave it to the sick brother : the which, when 
he had eaten, was mnde perfectly whole and never 
felt that sickness any more. When the next 
morning came, S. Francis sent two of the brothers 
of that House to live at Alvernia, and he sent 
back with them the peasant that had walked behind 
the ass that had been lent him, desiring that he 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 193 

should return therewith to his own house. So the 
brothers set out with the said peasant, and as they 
came into the country of Arezzo, certain men of 
those parts beheld them from far off, and were 
exceeding glad deeming that it was S. Francis, 
who had passed that way two days before : for a 
woman among them that had been in travail three 
days and could not bring to the birth, was like to 
die : and they thought to see her safe and sound 
agam, if S. Francis laid his holy hands upon her. 
But as the said brothers drew near, and they per- 
ceived that it was not S. Francis, they were exceed- 
ing sorrowful, but albeit the Saint was not there 
in bodily presence, nathless his virtue was not lack- 
ing, sith they lacked not in faith. O marvellous 
thing! the woman was at the point to die and 
had already the marks of death upon her. They 
asked the brothers if they had aught that had been 
touched by the most holy hands of S. Francis. 
The brothers bethought them and searched dili- 
gently, but in the end found naught that S. Francis 
had touched with his hands, save only the halter of 
the ass whereon he had ridden. With great rever- 
ence and devotion they took this halter and laid 
it on the body of the woman that was with child, 
calliM devoutly on the name of S. Francis and 
faithftlly commending themselves unto him. And 
what more ? So soon as the halter was laid upon 
the woman, straightway was she delivered from all 
peril, and easily and safely gave birth with joy. S. 
Francis, after he had tarried for some days in the 
said House, departed and went to the city of Cas- 
tello. And behold, many of the townsfolk came to 



'I 



194 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

meet him, and brought unto him a woman that had 
been longtime possessed of a devil and besought him 
humbly to set her free, for with doleful bowlings 
and piercing shrieks and barking like a dog she 
disturbed all the country round. Then S. Francis, 
having first prayed and made over her the sign of 
the most holy Cross, commanded the devil to de- 
part from her : ind straightway he departed and 
left her whole in body and in mind. And this 
miracle being noised abroad among the people, an- 
other woman with great faith brought to him her 
son grievously afflicted with a cruel wound, and 
besought him devoutly that he would be pleased to 
make the sign of the cross upon it with his hands. 
Then S. Francis, hearing her prayer, took the child 
and untied the bandage of the wound and blessed 
him, making three times the sign of the most holy 
Cross upon the wound, and then with his own 
hands bound it up again, and gave him back to his 
mother : and because it was evening, she straight- 
way laid him down upon the bed to sleep. In 
the morning she came to take him out of bed 
and found the bandages unbound : and looked and 
found him so perfectly healed as though he had 
had no hurt at all ; save at the place where the 
wound had been, the flesh had grown over, like to 
a red rose : and that rather in token of the miracle, 
than as a sign of the wound : for the said rose re- 
maining all through his life, often stirred up in 
him devotion to S. Francis who had healed him. 
At the prayers of the devout townsfolk, S. Fran- 
cis abode in that city a month, in the which time 
he wrought many other miracles; and then he 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 195 

departed to go unto S. Mary of the Angels with 
Brother Leo and with 1 certain good man that 
lent him his ass, on i. which S. Francis rode. 
Now It befell th .t by i jon of the bad roads and 
ot the severe cold, though they journeyed all day 
they could not reach a house wherein to hjdge • 
wherefore, constrained by the darkness and the 
storm, they took shelter under the brow of a 
hollow rock, for to jscape the snow and the night 
that was coming on. And being in this evil 
plight and eke ill-covered, the good man whose 
ass -t was, could i.ot sleep by reason of the cold 
and seeing that they had no means to make a 
fire, began softly to complain within himself and 
to lament, and as it were to murmur against S 
Francis that had brought him to such a place. 
Then S. Francis being ware of it, had compassion 
upon him ; tad m fervour of spirit stretched out 
his hand towards him, and touched him. O 
wondrous thing ! so soon as he had touched him 
with that hand which had been kindled and pierced 
by the fire of the Seraph, all the cold left him: 
and such heat entered into him both within and 
from without that he seemed to be near to the 
mouth of a blazing furnace, so that straightway 
comforted in soul and bodv, he fell asleep : and by 
his own report, he slept that night more sweetly 
among the rocks and snow until dawn, than ever 
he slept m his own beo. On the next day 
they went on th^ir iiurney, and came to S. Mary 
of the Angels : and s they drew near. Brother Leo 
lifted up his eyes, and looked tow.irds the said 
House of S. Mary of the Angels, and saw a Cross 



hji 



is 



- 



196 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

exceeding beautiful, whereon wu the figure of the 
Crucified, going before S. Francis, and with such 
accord did the said Cross go before the face of 
S. Francis, that when he rested, it rested also, and 
when he went on, it went on too : and that Cross 
was of such splendour that not only was its light 
reflected in the face of S. Francis, but likewise all 
the road was lit up round about him ; and it lasted 
until S. Francis entered into the House of S. Mary 
of the Angels. S. Francis then being come with 
Brother Leo, they were received by the brothers 
with exceeding great joy and love, and from thence- 
forth until his death S. Francis spent the most of 
his time in that House of S. Mary of the Angels. 
And the fame of his sanctity and of his miracles 
spread continually more and more throughout the 
Order and throughout the world, albeit in his deep 
humility he hid, as best he could, the graces and 
the gifts of God, and called himself the greatest 
of sinners. Whereat Brother Leo marvelling 
on a time and thinking foolishly within himself : 
" Behold, he calls himself the greatest of sinners 
in the ears of all men ; and he has become great 
in the Order ; and is so much honoured of God ; 
and nevertheless in secret he never confesses him- 
self guilty of carnal sin : can it be that he is still 
a virgin ? " and thereupon a great desire began to 
take hold on him, to know the truth thereof, but he 
dared not to ask S. Francis. Wherefore he turned 
himself to God ; and besought Him earnestly to 
certify him in that which he desired to know; and 
for his much praying and through the merits of 
S. Francis he was heard, and was certified that S. 



i' 



llH 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ,97 

Fnncis w« in very «x)th a virgin in body, through 
the v,s.on that followeth. For he «,w in a d«am 
b. Francis standing on a high place and honourable, 
unto which none could reach or let himself by his 
side ; and it was told him in spirit that this place 
so high and so pre-eminent signified the pre- 
eminence of virKinal chastity in §. Francis, which 
rightly accordedf with the flesh that was to be 
adorned with the most holy Stigmata of Christ. 
&. Francis, seeing that by reason of the Stigmata 
of Christ the strength of his body was litfle by 
little faih^ him, and that he could no longw 
take care ftr the government of the Order, sum- 
moned the General Chapter in haste: the which 
being all »Kembled. he humbly excused himself 
before the brothers for the bodily frailty, whereby 
he could no more take on him the care of the 
Order, a, touching the work of the general ; how- 
beit he would not lay down the office of general. 
for that he could not do. sith he had been made 
General by the Pope, and therefore he could not 
leave the office or put a successor in his place 
without the express permission of the Pope; but 

^^T'a-'^ ^ ^X'J''" ^^°"'«- P'='«- Sitani. 
commending the Order unto him and the Minister^ 
of the provinces with all the aflfection that he could. 
And this done, S. Frsncis comforted in spirit, lift- 
ine his eyes and hands to heaven, spake thus : "To 

^hff 1 "^ "1%*° 'r''" d° J commend 
Thy family, the which Thou hast committed unto 
me until this hour, and now through mine infir- 
mities, that Thou wottest of, most sweet my Lord 
I can no longer take care for it. Likewise do I 



i 



198 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

commend it unto the Ministers of the provinces ; 
let them be bound to render an account on the 
Day of Judgment, if any brother, through their 
negligence, or their bad example, or their too harsh 
severity, should perish." And by these words, as 
it pleased God, all the brothers in the Chapter 
understood that he spake of the holy Stigmata, in 
that he excused himself by reason of his infirmity; 
and of their devotion none of them could refrain 
themselves from weeping. And from thenceforth 
he left all the care and government of the Order 
in the hands of his Vicar and of the Ministers of 
the provinces ; and said : " Now that I' have given 
up the care of the Order by reason of my infirmi- 
ties, I am henceforth in naught bound save to pray 
God for our Order and to give a good example 
to the brothers. And I know well of very'sooth, 
that were mine infirmity to depart from me, the 
greatest help that I could give the Order, would 
be to pray to God continually for it, that he would 
defend and guide and keep it." Now, as has been 
set forth above, albeit S. Francis strove as best he 
might to hide the most holy Stigmata, and ever 
since he had received them, always went with hands 
bound up and feet shod, yet he could not prevent 
many brothers from seeing and touching them in 
divers mannera, and chief of all the wound in the 
side, the which he strove with greater diligence to 
hide. Thus a brother that did him service, on a 
time induced him with pious craft to take off his 
tunic, for to shake out il.e dust therefrom : and 
as he took it off before him, the brother clearly 
saw the wound in the side ; and quickly putting 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 199 

his hand on his breast, touched it with his three 
lingers, and learned the measure and the size of 
K : and m like manner his Vicar saw it also. But 
Brother Ruffino was still more clearly certified 
thereof: he was a man of very great contempla- 
tion, of whom S. Francis once said that there was 
no man m the world more holy than he, and for 
his sanctity he loved him with all his heart and 
suttered him m whatsoever things he desired. This 
Brother Ruffino certified himself and others of the 
most holy Stigmata, and above all of that in his 
side, in three ways. The first was, that having 
to wash the hose, which S. Francis wore so large 
that drawing them up he covered the wound in 
his right side therewith, the said Brother Ruffino 
examined and considered them diligently, and each 
time he found them stained with blood on the right 
side; whereby he perceived of a surety that this 
was blood that came from out the wound afore- 
said : but for this S. Francis reproved him, when 
he saw that he spread out the hose that he took 
off, for to see this token. The second way was 
that on a time the said Brother Ruffino of set 
purpose thrust his fingers into the wound in the 
side ; so that S. Francis for the pain that he felt 
CTied out aloud: "God pardon thee, O Brother 
KuBino, wherefore hast thou done this thine f " 
The third way was, that on a time he besought 
&. brancis instantly as a most gracious favour to 
give him his cloak and take his instead for t"'e 
love of chanty; yielding to his prayer, albeit un- 
willingly, the loving Father drew off his cloak and 
gave It him and took his instead ; and then in this 



loo THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

drawing oflF and putting on again, Brother Ruffino 
plainly saw the wound aforesaid. Brother Leo 
likewise and many other brothers saw the said 
most holy StigmaU of S. Francis while he was 
yet alive : the which brothers, though for their 
sanctity they were men worthy of trust and to be 
believed on their bare word, nevertheless, for to 
take away all doubt from the hearts of men, they 
swore on the holy Book that they had clearly seen 
them. Likewise certain cardinals that were his 
own familiar friends, saw them, and in teverence 
for the said most holy Stigmau of S. Francis they 
wrote and made beautiful and devout Hymns and 
Antiphons and Proses.' The Supreme Pontiff, 
Pope Alexander, while preaching to the people in 
the presence of all the cardinals, among the which 
was the holy brother Bonaventura, that was a cai^ 
dinal, said and affirmed that he had seen with his 
own eyes the sacred Stigmata of S. Francis, while 
he was yet alive. And the Lady Jacoba di Sen- 
tensoli of Rome, who was the greatest lady of 
her time in Rome, and had a great devotion unto 
S. Francis, both before he died and after his death, 
both saw and kissed them many times with much 
reverence, because by divine revelation she came 
from Rome to Assisi for to be present at the death 
of S. Francis, and it befell in this wise. S. Francis, 
some days before his death, lay sick at Assisi in 
the palace of the Bishop along with certain of his 
companions, and in spite of all his sickness he often- 
times sang certain songs of praise to Christ. On a 

.! !",'"' ? ^"'° '''""" faring rhyme and an equal number of 
ijrllablei ra each line, bui no metre. 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI loi 

day one of his companions said unto him : " Father 
thou knowest that these townsfolk have great Aith 
m thee and deem thee a holy man; and to the 
end that they may think that thou art truly what 
they deem thee, thou oughtest in this thy sickness 
to bethmk thee of death, and to rather weep than 
smg, aeemg that thou art so grievously sick : and 
know that thy singing and ours, that thou dost 
make us smg is heard of many persons both within 
the palace and without; sith for thy sake this palace 
IS guarded by many men-at^irms, the which per- 
chance may find therein a bad example. Where- 
fore methinks," quoth this brother, "that thou 
wouldest dowell to depart hence,and thatwe should 
all return to S. Mary of the Angels, for it is not 
well with u. here among the men of the world." 
S. francu answered him : "Brother most dear, thou 
knowest that it is now two years since God revealed 
to thee the limit of my life, what time we sojourned 
m Fuligno, and likewise hath He revealed also 
unto me that a few days hence, in the course of 
this sickness, that limit will be reached : and in 
that revelation hath God assured me of the remis- 
sion of all my sins and of the bliss of Paradise 
Before that revelation, I wept for death and for 
my sins: but now that this revelation is made 
known to me, I am so full of joy, that I can weep 
Mjnore; therefore I sing and still shall sing to 
iTOd, that hath given to me the blessing of His 
grace, and hath assured me of the blessings of the 
glory of Paradise. Touching our departure hence, 
i agree thereto and am well pleased, but do ye 
find some means to carry me, sith for mine 



!' 



202 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

infirmity I cannot go afoot." Then the brothers 
took him up m their arms and carried him, and 
many of the townsfolk bare them company. And 
commg to a hospice that was by the way, S. Francis 
said unto them that bore him : "Set m-; down upon 
the ground and turn me towards the city." And 
when that he was laid with his face turned towards 
Assisi, he blessed the city with many blessings, say- 
ing : " Blessed be thou of God, O holy city, seeing 
that through thee shall many souls be saved, and 
in thee shall dwell many servants of the Lord • 
and out of thee shall many be chosen for the 
kingdom of eternal life." And said these words 
he let carry him on, to S. Mary of the Angels. 
And when that they were come to S. Mary of the 
Angels, they carried him into the infirmary, and 
laid him down there to rest. Then S. Francis 
called unto him one of his companions, and said 
unto him: "Brother most dear, God hath revealed 
to me that from this sickness, on such a day I 
shall pass away from this life: now thou wottest 
that the beloved Lady Jacoba di Sentensoli, who 
IS so devoted to our Order, would be sore grieving 
It she heard of my death and had not herself been 
present : whereby send her word that if she would 
X'. me alive again, let her come here straightway." 
Repi.cd the brother: " Father, thou hast well said; 
for of very sooth for the great devotion that she 
bears thee, it would not at all be fitting that she 
should be absent at thy death." "Go then," quoth 
S. Francis, "and brine me inkhorn and paper and 
pen, and write as I shall tell thee." And when 
that he had brought them, S. Francis dictated the 



I 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 203 

letter after this manner: "To the Lady Jacoba, 
the servant of God, Brother Francis the poor little 
one of Christ, greeting, and the fellowship of the 
Holy Spirit in our Lord Jesu Christ. Know, dear 
lady, that Christ, the blessed One, hath of His 
grace revealed unto me that the end of my life is 
shortly at hand. Wherefore, if thou desire to see 
me still alive, when thou hast seen this letter, do 
thou arise and come unto S. Mary of the Angels : 
for if thou art not come by such a day, thou wilt 
not find me still alive : and bring with thte a shroud 
of haircloth, to wrap my body in, and the wax that 
IS needed for the burial. I pray thee likewise that 
thou bring me some of the food that thou wast 
wont to give me, when I lay sick in Rome." And 
whiles this letter was in writing, it was of God re- 
vealed unto 8. Francis that the Lady Jacoba was 
coming unto him and was even now come nigh the 
House, and was bringing with her all the things 
that he was asking for by letter. Therefore, having 
this revelation, S. Francis said unto the brother that 
was writing the letter, that he should write no more, 
seeing that there was no need, but should lay the 
letter aside : at the which thing the brothers mar- 
velled much, in that he finished not the letter and 
desired that it should not be sent. And after a 
little space, there was a loud knocking at the door 
of the House, and S. Francis sent the porter to 
open It: and the door being opened, behold ! there 
was the Lady Jacoba, the most noble lady in all 
Rome, with her two sons that were senators of 
Rome, and a great company of horsemen, and they 
entered in ; and the Lady Jacoba went straight to 



i 



204 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 
the infirmary and came unto S. Francis. And of 
her commg S. Francis had exceeding great joy and 
comfort, and she likewise, beholding him still alive 
and having speech of him. Then she told him 
how God had revealed unto her in Rome, as she 
was at prayer, the near end of hi. life, and how he 
would send for her and ask for those things, all 
of which she said she had brought with her ; and 
she let bring them to S. Francis, and gave them 
him to eat. And when he had eaten and was much 
comforted the Udy Jacoba kneeled down at the 
feet ot S. Francis, and took those most holv feet 
marked and adorned with the wounds of Christ 
and kissed them and bathed them with her tear^ 
in such a rapture of devotion, that to the brothers 
that stood around it seemed they saw the very 
Magdalene herself at 'Jie feet of Jesu Christ, and 
by no means could they draw her away. And at 
leneth after a long space they lifted her up thence 
and drew her aside ; and they asked her how she 
h-l come at a time so fitting and so well provided 
with all the things that were needed for the sus- 
tenance and for the burial of S. Francis. Replied 
the Lady Jacoba that, as she was praying in Rome 
one night, she heard a voice from heaven saying • 
" If thou desire to see S. Francis still alive, delay 
not to go unto Assisi, and take with thee the things 
thou wast wont to give, him when he was sick, and 
the things that will be needed for his burial; and" 
(quoth she) " even so have I done." So the said 
Ladyjacobaabode there until such time as S. Francis 
paffled away from this life and was buried ; and she 
paid great honour unto his burying, she and all her 




INK r.KATH OK S. I RA\(IS 

"■/,«/„,„,>„ Co//.; Ii.„i. r„ri,, 



I 



M 



3. FRANCIS OF ASSISI joj 

company and .he bore the charges of whatsoever 

was needed. Then returnine to Rome, after a short 

jme this gentle lady died at y death; and of h« 

devofon to S Francis, she c cided and desired to 

t^el"""';" ^- ■^Vy.-^f'he Angels and be buried 
there ; and so was it done. 

How Jmm touched and sav, th, most holy Stigmata 
ofS. Francu, vthtnin at Jim he disbelieved 
Aft- -Ve death of S. Francis not only did the 
afores.,u .^y J.coba and her sons together with 
111 her company see and kiss his glorious sacred 
Migmata but likewise many citizens of Assisi • 

and a man of worth, named Jerome, the which 
doubted much thereof and was unbeliiving, even 
as S Thomas the Apostle doubted the wounds 

Z ^M? '■ '"■'' *° "''"'^'' '''"'«"' """l ">«^ others 
he lx)ldl, in t!ie presence of the brothers and the 

and felt the wound in the side, for a clear testi- 

ZI''^'r, 1°' '^' ^Y""^ """ '■« ^"^ '^itn'ss of 
that truth constantly, swearing on the Book that 
•o It was, and so had he seen and touched. Like- 
wise S. Clare with her nuns, the which were 
present at his bunal, saw and kissed the glorious 
sacred Stigmata of S. Francis. ^ 

Of the day and of the year of the death ofS. Francis 

The glorious confessor of Christ, S. Francis, 
passed away from this life in the year of our Loi5 



206 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

one thousand two hundred and twent) six, on the 
fourtn day of October, being Saturday, and was 
buried on the Sunday. This year was the twentieth 
year of his conversion, to wit, when he began to 
do penance, and was the second year after the im- 
printing of the most holy Stigmata, and he was in 
the forty-fifth year of his age. 

Of the canonUatiiiH o/S. Francis 

Thereafter was S. Francis canonised, in the 
year one thousand two hundred and twenty-eight 
by Pope Gregory IX. ; the which came in his 
proper person to Assisi for to canonise him. And 
this sufficeth for the fourth reflection. 

Of the fifth and last reflectim on the most holy 
Stigmata 

The fifth ana last reflection is touching certain 
apparitions and miracles that God wrought and 
showed forth after the death of S. Francis, for 
the confirmation of his most holy Stigmata and 
for a testimony of the day and the hour whereon 
Christ mve them him. And as touching this, ye 
mus. '.eeds know that in the year of our Lord 
one -.nousand two hundred and eighty-two, in the 
month of October, Brother Philip, minister of 
7 uscany, by order of Brother John Buonagrazia 
the minister general, required of Brother Matthew 
of Castighone in Arezzo, a man of great devotion 
and sanctity, that by holy obedience he should 
say what he knew of the day and of the hour 




S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI aoy 

wherein the most holy Stigmata were by Christ 
.mpnnted on the body of §. Francis ; for it was 
known that he had received a revelation thereon. 
h.1 7 u ?"''*'" Matthew, being ccnstrained 
by holy obedience, answered him thus : " Beinir in 
the community of Alvernia last year in the month 
of May, I began one day to pray in the cell 
that IS m the place where it is believed that the 
seraphic vision took place. And in my prayer I be- 
sought God very devoutly to be pleased to reveal 
unto some one the day and th: hour and the place 
wherein the most holy Stigmata were impr&ted 
on the body of S. Francis. And as I continued 
m prayer and in this petition beyond the first 
watch of the night, there appeared unto me 

u„fo"l"' .'L" «"«?'"g '"•'ght light, and said 
unto me : Son, for what dost thou pray to God ? • 
,n!5 ?"^ "nto him : 'Father, I pray for such 
and such a thing.' And he said unto m. : < I am 
ti^ father Francis: dost thou know me -/ell?' 
Yea, Father, quoth I. Then he showet: .o me 
the most holy Stigmata in Jiis "-ands and his feet 

?l!;i -if /■ 'S? "i'*= "^'"= '•""= « come when 
God willo for His glory to manifest that which the 
brothers We hitherto not c^red to learn. Know 
that He that appeared unto me was not an aneel 
but was Jesu Christ in the form of a Seraph : who 
wi.h His own hands imprinted these wounds upon 
my body, even as He leceived them in His body 
on the cross; and it was on this wise: on the 
day before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross there 
came to me an- Angel, and bade me in the name 
of God make myself ready to be patient and to re- 



;ii 'I 



208 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

ceive whatsoever God might will to send me. And 
I replied that I was ready to receive and to endure 
a! I thmgs according to God's good pleasure. Then 
on the morning following, on the festival of the 
Holy Cross, which that year fell on a Friday at 
day-break I left my cell in exceeding great fervour 
of spirit and went to pray in the place where thou 
art now, in which place I used oftentimes to pray. 
And as I prayed, behold through the air there 
came down from heaven a young man crucified, 
m the form of a Seraph with six wings, and with 
great swiftness : at this wondrous sight I kneeled 
humbly down and began devoutly to contemplate 
the immeasurable love of Jesu Christ Crucified, 
and the immeasurable pain of His passion ; and 
the sight of Him begat in me so great compassion 
that 1 seemed in mine own person to feel that 
very Passion in my body; and at His presence 
all this mountain shone like the sun ; and thus 
descending He came close to me. And standing 
before me, He spake to me certain secret words, 
the which I have not yet revealed to any man ■ 
but the time is at hand when they shall be revealed' 
Then after a little space, Christ departed and" 
returned into heaven ; and I found myself thus 
marked with these wounds. Go then,' quoth 
5>. Francis, 'and tell these things with confidence 
unto thy minister; for this is the working of 
God and not of man.' And said these words, S 
Francis gave me his blessing, and went up again 
mto heaven with a great company of youths in 
shining garments." AH these things Brother 
Matthew said he had seen and heard not sleep- 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 209 

ing but a^ke. And so he swore that he had 
him„lf told unto the said minister in his cell a1 

h^r^Sdietr "' '•""'°''"' """ '"-^ "y 

Ho^aholy brother reading the legend of S. FrancU in 
the chapter on the most holy Stigmata and on the 

Francis when he appeared unto him, prayed to 
God so much that S. Francis revealed thei unto 

Upon another time a devout brother and holy 
on the most holy Stigmata, began with great L- 

ficref mT' \^°^^" ^'>" 'hose^words'To 
Zw ^°"'^''»^« l^" which S. Francis said he 
would reveal to no man, so long as he lived the 
which the Seraph had spoken w^hen he appeared 
to h.m. And th,. .rother said within himse?f 

ml wh r°i:'''r^-/T"» *°"''' "°' '«" to any 
? J^ 'u '" ^""^'- *"" "°" "ft" the death of 
h.s body he may perchance tell them, if devout 
prayer be made to him." And from thenceforth 
the devout brother began to pmy to God and to 

worr-"'.nd"th'"lf'" J'''"'^ ""=■" '°'""' ">°^« 
words , and this brother persevering for eight 

ye.rs in th« prayer, in the eighth year he merS 

to be heard after this wise. One day after the 

thrcK t- "*"=" ''^y ^'^ given thanks in 
the church, as he was at prayer in a certain part 
of the church, and was praying to God and to 
S. Francis more devoutly than he was wont, and 

o 



I 



210 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

with mmy tears, he was called by another of 
the brothers, and was bidden in the name of the 
guardian to go with him to the fields for the 
profit of the House. Vherefore he, nothing 
doubtmg that obedieno more meritorious than 
prayer, straightway when he heard the command 
of the superior, humbly left his prayers and went 
with the brother thatcalled him. And as it pleased 
God, by this act of ready obedience he merited 
that whicl, by long hours of prayer he had not 
mented. For so soon as they were come without 
the door of the House, they met two brothers, 
strangers, the which seemed as though they had 
come from a far country, and one of them seemed 
to be young, and the other old and lean, and by 
reason of foul weather they were all wet and stained 
with mud. So that obedient brother, having great 
compassion on them, said to the companion that 
was with him : " O my brother most dear, if the 
business that we are going upon, may be delayed a 
little, seeing that these stranger brothers have great 
need to be charitably received, I pray thee that 
thou suffer me first to go and wash their feet, and 
especially the feet of that aged brother who hath 
greater need thereof, and you will be able to wash 
those of the younger one ; and then we will go 
about the business of the convent." Then this 
brother consenting unto the charity of his com- 
panion, they went back into the convent ; and re- 
ceiving those stranger brothers with much charity 
they took them into the kitchen that they might 
warm and dry themselves by the fire ; - d eight 
other brothers of the House were wanning them- 






S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI j„ 

11^ tne feet of the older brother, and was winin., 
off the mud, for they were very muddv he S f 

ot God, founded three Orders And .i,!, i i. 
than any other time, that I should rev"al ^ h™ 
never n:veal m my life-time, this day by theTom 

"rK!•':rh^^^er/nrs?^" 

turning towards that brothe said -.k"w h^Tr 
most /ear. that being on thirjunt of £n .''aU 
rapt m the remembrance of the Passion of Christ 






1 



212 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

in that seraphic apparition, I was of Christ thus 
marked on my body with the Stigmata, and then 
Chnst spake unto me : ' Knowest thou that which 
™7 done unto thee ? I have given thee the signs 
of i,Iy Passion, to the end that thou mayest be My 
standard-bearer. And even as I on the day of My 
death descended into hell and brought out thence 
all the souls that I found therein and led them to 
Paradise, by virtue of My Stigmata ; so do I grant 
to thee this hour, that thou shalt thus be conformed 
to Me in death, as thou hast been in life, that aftc: 
thou hast passed away from this life, every year on 
the day of thy death thou shalt go to Purgatory, 
and m virtue of thy Stigmata that I have given 
thee, thou shalt bring out thence all the souls of 
thy three Orders, to wit. Minors, Sisters, and Con- 
tinents, and likewise those thou mayest find there, 
that have had a devotion unto thee, and shalt lead 
them unto Paradise.' And these words I told to 
none, whiles I lived in the world." And said these 
words, S. Francis and his companion vanished away 
incontment. Afterwards many brothers heard of 
this from those eight brothers that were present 
at this vision and speech of S. Francis. 

How S. Francis, being dead, appeared unto Brother 
John ofJhemia, as he was at prayer 

On the mount of Alveinia S. Francis on a time 
appeared unto Brother John of Alvemia, a man 
of great sanctity, as he was at prayer, and stood 
and spake with him for a very long space, and in 
the end desiring to depart, spake thus : " Ask of 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 213 

me whatsoe'er thou wiit." Quoth Brother John : 
" Father, I pray thee tell me what I have long 
time desired to know, to wit, what thou wast 
doing and where thou wast when the Seraph ap- 
peared to thee." Replied S. Francis: "I was 
praying in the place where now is the Chapel of 
the Count Simon da Baltifolle, and I was asking 
two graces of my Lord Jesu Christ. The first 
was that He should grant me in n.y life-time to 
feel in my soul and my body, as far as might be, 
all the pain that He had felt in Himself at the 
time of His most bitter Passion. The second 
grace that I asked of Him was in like manner that 
I might feel in my heart that exceeding love, 
wherewith He was enkindled to endure so great 
sufFering for us sinners. Then God put it into 
my heart that He would grant me to feel both the 
one and the other, as far as was possible to the 
mere creature : the which thing was indeed ful- 
filled in me by the imprinting of the Stigmata." 
Then Brother John asked him if the secret words 
that the Seraph had spoken to him had been even 
as told by the holy brother aforesaid : the which 
affirmed that he had heard them from S. Francis 
in the presence of eight brothers. S. Francis 
replied that the truth was even as that brother 
had said. Then Brother John, seeing that he so 
freely gave, took heart to ask, and said thus : 
"O Father, most earnestly I do beseech thee to 
suffer me to see jnd kiss thy most holy and 
glorious Stigmata, not that I doubt at all, but 
only for my consolation ; sith always have I longed 
for this." And S. Francis freely showing them 



214 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

and presenting them unto him, Brother John saw 
them clearly and touched and kissed. And at the 
last he asked: "Father, what consolation must 
thy soul have felt, when thou sawest Christ the 
blessed One come to thee and give thee the marks 
of His most holy Passion ! now would to God that 
I might feel a little of that sweetness ! " Then 
replied S. Francis: "Seest thou these nails'" 
Quoth Brother John : "Yea, Father." "Touch 
once again," said S. Francis, " this nail that is in 
ray hand." Then Brother John with great rever- 
ence and fear touched the nail, and straightway at 
the touch thereof there came forth as it were a 
httle column of smoke, as of incense, and entering 
mto the nostrils of Brother John, filled his soul 
and body with such sweetness that straightway he 
was rapt in God in ecstasy and became insensible ; 
and thus rapt he continued froi.. that hour, which 
was the hour of Tierce, even until Vespers. And 
this vision and familiar speech with S. Francis 
Brother John told unto no one save unto his con- 
fessor, until he came to die ; but being at the point 
of death, he revealed it to several brothers. 

Of a hcly brother that taw a wonirous vision of one 
of his companions that was dead 

In the province of Rome, a very devout brother 
and holy beheld this wondrous vision. One of 
the brothers, his companion that was most dear to 
him, having died on a night and in the morning 
betn buried before the entrance to the Chapter- 
house, on that same day this brother withdrew 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 215 

••"""'f '«o a corner of the Chapter-house after 
the breaking of bread, for to pray devoutly to God 
and to S. Francis for the soul of the dead brother, 
his companion. And as he continued in prayer 
with supplications and with tears until noon, what 
time all the others had gone away to sleep, behold 
he was ware of a great noise in the cloister. 
Whereat straightway with great fear he turned 
his eyes towards the grave of his companion ; and 
he saw standing in the entrance to the Chapter- 
house S. Francis, and behind him a great company 
of brothers round about the grave. And a.s he 
still looked, he saw in the middle of the cloister 
a great flaming fire, and standing in the midst of 
the flames the soul of his dead companion. And 
looking round about the cloister, he saw Jesu 
Christ walking round the cloister with a great 
company of angels and of saints. And as with 
great amazement he gazed upon these things, he 
MW that when Christ passed in front of the 
Chapter-house, S. Francis with all those brothers 
kneeled down and bespake Him thus : " I pray 
Thee, my dearest Father and Lord, by the in- 
estimable love which in Thine incarnation Thou 
hast shown to the children of men, that Thou 
have mercy on the soul of this my brother, who 
burneth m this fire ;" and Christ answered him 
not a word, but passed on. And as He came back 
a second time and passed in front of the Chapter- 
house, S. Francis kneeled him down again with his 
brothers as before, and besought Him in this wise • 
"I pray Thee, pitying Father and Lord, for the 
boundless love that Thou didst show to the chil- 






216 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

dren of men, when Thou didst die on the wood 
of the Cross, that Thou have pity of the souf^ 
th.s my brother:" .„d Christ Vs^d h.mb; L 
before and heard him not. And going round'^:he 

front of the Chapter-house ; and then S Francis 

and feet and side, spake thus: "I nrav Thee 
p.ty.ng Father and l!ord, by the greafpainland 
he great consolation that I felt wfen Thou dfdsl 
.mpnnt these Stigmata upon my flesh, that Thou 
have mercy on the soul of this my brother that 
whent I'' °^ Pu'^atory." O wo„5 ^us hing* 
when S. Francis pniyed to Christ this third time 
m the name of h.s Stigmata, straightway He sta "d 
Hs steps and gazed upon the sfigmata; and He 

Francs, do I grant the soul of thy brother." AnTd 
tf^' °i ' r^'y- "= ^''""^ t° honour 7nd 
oo^nfrr^ ^ ^'T"' u^'-S""" °f S. Frands, a"d 
openly to show that the souls of his brother, that 
go to Purgatory, can in no way more easily be 
freed from then- pains and brought to the Lr^ 
of Parad.se, than by virtue of his Stigmata acfoH*^ 
mg to the words that Christ spake u!to S "fZcTs 
when He .mpnnted them. For as soon as thAe 

away aXh?d°''H 'J''^ " '"' '='™"- -"-^ed 
away, and the dead brother came to S. Francis and 

pX o7trbl''"H''"^"'^^^''"^'' «' "h ™com- 
pany of the blessed with their glorious Kine went 
up into heaven. For the which%ause th^ bfo^e" 

h I'mTrdTom 'h" '" • ""''i '" '''"■' ^^o^^S 

mm treed from his pains and taken to Paradise, 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 217 

!'lTl^""^'"S- S"" J°y= ""^ '^here.fter he told 
tnl^f K ""vu '" °"''" """ the other brothers, and 

^'Zlk'^t''''!!'^'": '^"'"""dto S. Framis, was certified 
of the death and the holy Stigmata o/S. Francis 

T V?]"'^ '^"'S'" °'' '^»'" "1' San Pietro, by name 

^Fraf °" ""^/''-hhad a very great devotioHo 

fh/h K 'f"? *4..^''' '»" '■"«i^«d at his hands 

death of i t ^^'"^ °"^"' "»^ «^'fi«d °f th ' 
death of S Francs, and of his most holy and 

glorious Sfgmata, after this manner: what^ime 
intn r"" "" "'Z^. ""'° '^'="''' 'h-: devil entered 
her anH°.K'" °^ l^f ^'f* ""'^ ""^''X tormented 
I«r'n,H "J^"""?' made her to speak with such 

IndTl'^n""'' '\" '•"= ^»"q"i»hS »11 the wise 
and learned men that came to dispute with her 

i^ft w fr^i'f""" 'V"'' "^'P-'-e f™™ h- 

„. L- f "'° ''*''' = »"<* °" 'hi third day 

returning to her again, afflicted her yet more 
cnielly than before Hearing of thirmaue" 
^vttt7"Y"'V^'' T™*" ""'• "ked of the 
hehJl fMr V" ^"'7^" ^'' the reason that 
he had left her for two days and thereafter return- 
ing tormented her still more grievously than at the 
first Replied the demon: "When I left her it 

Ze ™T ' ""* *".'"y ^"■"panions, that be'in 
these parts, were gathered together and went in 
great force to the death of Francis, the beggar, C 
to dispute with him and take his soul : but si h it 
was surrounded and defended by a host of Angels 



! 



si8 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

in number more than we, and was carried by them 
straight up tato heaven, and we gat us away in con- 
tusion, I have therefore returned to this wretched 
woman and am making up for what I left undone 
those two days." Then Landolfo conjured him 
m the name of God to tell hin what was the truth 
touchmg the sanctity of S. Francis, whom he re- 
ported to be dead, and of S. Clare, that was alive. 
Replied the devil : " Whether I had rather or not, 
yet will I tell thee all the truth. God the Father 
was so wroth against the sins of the world, that it 
«emed that m a little while He would give the 
sentence of death upon men and women, and would 
sweep them ofF the face of the earth, if they 
amended not their ways. But Christ, His Son 
gaying for smners, promised to renew His life and 
His passion m a man, to wit, in Francis, the poor 
httle one, the beggar; by whose life and doctrine 
He would bnng back many throughout all the 
world into the way of truth, ana • ;.,ny also unto 
penitence. And now for to show to the world 
what He had wrought in S. Francis, He hath 
willed that the Stigmata of His passion, the which 
He had imprinted on his body while he lived 
should now be seen of many and touched after 
his death. In like manner, the Mother of Christ 
promised to renew her virginal purity and her 
humility in a woman, to wit, Sister Clare, 'n such 
fashion that by her ensample she would deliver 
many thousands of women out of our hands And 
the anger of God the Father being turned away 
by these promises. He delayed the sentence of 
death. Then Landolfo, desiring to know of a 



r^attO^ 



■y ^ " 'xp 






\^f ^ 






AI'l'K\h;> |\ \ hki-.AM rn i'.ii'h. iM^i 



I;, 



\ 



ki*_ 



? FRANCIS OF ASSISI 219 

surety -.hether tho drv. , who is the armoury and 
father-; Irs. was in .lese matters speaking the 
truth, ai.d rhiefly cou.jiing the death of S. Francis 
sent one of his taiih/ul squires to Assisi, unto s! 
Mary of the Angels, for to learn if S. Francis were 
alive or dead: the which squire winning there, 
found of a sooth that it was so, and coming back 
again told to his lord that on the very day and 
hour that the devil had said, S. Francis had liassed 
away from this life. '^ 

Horn Pope Gregory IX., doubHng of the Stigmata of 
S. Francis, was certified thereof 

Leaving now all the miracles of the most holy 
btigmata of S. Francis, the which are to be read in 
his Legend, for the ending of this fifth reflection 
ye must know that Pope Gregory IX. doubting a 
httle touchmg the wound in the side of S. Francis 
as he afterwards related, one night S. Francis 
appeared unto him, and lifting up his right arm a 
httle, uncovered the wound in his side, and asked 
him for a phial, and he let bring it ; and S. Francis 
let put It under the wound in the side ; and of 
very sooth it seemed to the Pope that it was filled 
up to the brim with blood mingled with water 
that issued from the wound ; and from thenceforth 
all doubt departed from him. And afterwards, 
with the counsel of all the cardinals, he approved 
the most holy Stigmata of S. Francis, and on their 
account gave to the brothers a special privilege by 
a Bull, and this he did at Viterbo in the elewnth 
year of his pontificate; and afterwards in the 



(•t 



220 s. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 

Ttf^'V"'' M- fT' *"°'''" "'°" "tensive stiil. 
Then Pope Nicholas III. and Pope Alexander 

?l^"satXP""'^".' ^' '"^ which'^hotTentd 
the sacred Sfgmataof S. Francis might be dealt 

the fif^^'^r:-- """i'^^' '^ '="°>'g''%s touch ng 
the fifth reflection on the glorious and most holv 
St^mata of our Father, S. Francis, whose life may 
God give us grace so to follow in this world, that 
by the virtue of his glorious Stigmata we mav 
merit to be saved with him in Paradise To "he 
S^.Taninm"ef'-^°^«^P- ''«-:!:: 



:i 



vi 



HERE BEGINNETH THE LIFE OF 
BROTHER JUNIPER 

/. H,m, Brclhr Juniper M cfth.fiot cfa pig, „,„/. tc 
gwi It to a lick man 

One of the most elect disciples and first com- 
panions of S Francis was Brother Juniper, a man 
of deep humility, of great fervour and charity of 
whom S. Francis, speaking on a time with his holy 
companions, said ; " He would be a good Brother 
Minor who had conquered himself and the world 
like Brother Juniper." On a time at S. Mary of 
the Angels, when all afire with the love of God 
he was visiting a sick brother, he asked him with 
much compassion : " Can I do thee any service ? " 
Replied the sick man : " Much comfort would it 
give me, if thou couldest get me a pig's trotter to 
eat. Straightway cried Brother Juniper: "Leave 
that to me, I'll fetch you one at once ; " so he 
went and took a knife, from the kitchen I believe 
and m fervour of spirit ran through the wood 
where divers pigs were feeding, threw himself on 
one of them, cut off its foot and ran away, leaving 
the pig with feet so maimed; and returning, he 
washed and dressed and cooked the foot • and 
when with much diligence he had prepared it well 
he brought the said foot to the sick man with 



(■^ 



8 



* '). 



! 



222 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 
much great charity. And the sick man ate it up 
nght greedily, to the great comfort and delight o? 
Brother Jumper ; who with great glee, for to glad 

„K„l *?' "r°" '*"= P'e- Meanwhile the man 
«ho kept the p,gs and saw this brother cut ofFits 
foot w.th b,tter words told all the story in orde 
to his lord. And when he was ware of it he 
came to the house of the brothers, calling them 
hypocrites thieves and liars, and rogues an^ 
knaves and saying: "Why have ye cut off the 
foot of my pig.?" At the noise that he made 
S Franc, and all his brother, came out, and with 
.11 humility made excuses for his brethren, Tnd 
wotting naught of what was done, for to appear 
him promised to restore him all that he had 1^ 
But for all that he was no whit appeased, but 
with much wrath, insults, and threats, went away 
from the brother, full of anger, repeating over 
and over how basely they had cut off the foot of 
his pig, and taking no excuse or promise, eat him 
gone ,„ a rage. And S. Francis full of d sLtio^ 

"can t r^*", '"•'"' "i:'^ '"^ ^'^'^ his heart: 
zeal too indiscreet?" And he let call Brother 
Juniper unto him secretly, and asked him, saying • 

W^ rl bU' ""t""' '°°' °^' P« '" the'wo^f " 
Z^J f ^u" ■'""'P*'- "°' " °"« fhat had 
made a fault, but as one that seemed to himself 
to have done a deed of great charity, all Rladlv 
answered, and «id : ..Swe%t myFath^'r, it if^ue' 
that I cut off a foot from the .aid pig; and a. 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 223 

touching the reason, my Father, if thou wilt, do 
thou give ear to it compassionately. Out of chitv 
LT"h. *^ ,!.'"^ '"'*'„'"'* ""='' » '^'^^ brother; •• 
then added : "I tell thee, that bearing in mind 
the consolation that this our brother felt, and the 
comfort that the said foot brought to him, ifl 
had cut ofF the feet of a hundred pigs as f did 

Sr^i^V"/ '°?."'' ""="•'"''' God would have 
said Well done." Whereat S. Francis, with 
nghteous zeal and great sevei. said- "O 
Brother Juniper, why hast thou ,.ow given so 
great scandal? not without reason doth this man 
complain and is so wroth against us: and per- 

evH of' !! '/ ""'^ P.',"g '!'™"g'' the city, speaking 
evil of us for such ill-doing, and I ween he hatg 
good reason. Wherefore I command thee by 
holy obedience, that thou run after him till thou 

^^''Hl.^''^""■ """^ """°«' 'Melf upon the 
ground before h,m and confess thy fault, promis- 
ing to make such satisfaction and after such a 
fashion that he may have no eround to complain 
oLnU '°u\'"'\^ '^'' ^'^ ^" «°° grievous an 
words aforesaid : and was amazed, being surprised 
that any one should be angry at so charitaWe a 
deed ; for it seemed to him that these temporal 
things were naught, save in so far a. men of their 
charity shared them with their neighbours. And 
fT^VJ'"",^'';,'"''''^"^' "'^°"ht not, my 
fn„^ ;k-" ^'"i' ^"^ ''™ straightway and 
content him. And why should he be so disqi ieted, 
seeing that this pig, whose foot I have cut off 



i 



224 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

was rather God's than his, and great charity hath 
been done thereby ? " So he set out at a run and 
overtook the man ; who was exceeding wroth, out 
of all measure, so that there was no whit of 
patience left in him ; and he told him how and 
for what cause he had cut off the foot of the pig ■ 
and this with as much fervour and gladness and' 
joy, as one that had done a great service, for the 
which he ought to be well rewarded. But he 
full of anger and beside himself with fury, heaped 
much abuse upon Brother Juniper, calling him 
madman and fool, robber and vile thief. And 
Brother Juniper cared not a whit for these words 
of such abuse, yet marvelling within himself al- 
though he rejoiced to be iil-spoken of: and be- 
lieved he could not have understood him aright, 
for It seemed to him matter for rejoicing rather 
than for wrath ; and he repeated the aforesaid 
story anew, and threw himself upon his neck and 
embraced and kissed him : and told him how that 
It had been done wholly for charity's sake, inviting 
and beseeching him to do likewise with the rest ; 
with such charity and simplicity ai.d humility, that 
this man coming to himself again threw himself 
upon the ground not without many tears ; and 
acknowledging the wrong that he had done and 
said unto the brothers, went and caught the pig 
and killed it, and having cooked it brought it with 
great devotion and much weeping to S. Mary of 
the Angels, and gave it to those holy brothers to 
eat, for pity of the wrong he had done to them. 
And S. Francis, pondering on the simplicity and 
the patience of the said holy Brother Juniper in the 



i!^ 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 225 

hour of trial, said to his companions and the others 
tandmg round: "Would to God, my brother,^ 
th-v 1 had a whole forest of such Junipers I " 

//. An instance of the great power of Brother 
Jumper over the devil 

How the devils could not endure the purity of 
the innocence anddeep humilityof Brother Juniper 
doth clearly appear herein, that on a time a certaTn 

and n''''"^ '""' * '^"''' =°"'"^ '° »" his wont 
and with antics most strange, sprang out of the 

Z and^fl fr^;"' """^ °^^ '"'^'^'"^' °ff-n- 
And being asked by his kinsfolk, that with great 
anguish of spirit followed after him, wherefofe he 
then? " tJ: "'"' '"^V'""g« ""tics, he answered 
frllL' I ■ '■^"°" " ''''' ■ ''«»"5= that mad 
aWe7o-l"„H'*T?' P"'''"S ^y 'hat way: not being 
able to endure his presence nor to look on him I 
fled away into these woods." And certifying them- 
selves of the truth thereof, they found that Kr 
Jumper, m that very hour, had come along that 

TJn "'\" 'u' 1"'' ''*'' '''''■ Wherefore S. 
l<rancis, when they brought to him those that were 
possessed to be healed, if the devils departed n" 
straightway at his command, would say • " If thou 
come not out of this creature of God straightway 
I will send for Brother Juniper to deal with^h^e " 

Brother Juniper, and not being able to endure the 
.tSt'^a'y.'""""'^ "' '■ ""-'^- -""^ -^'P- 



4 



226 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 



///. How, by the device of the devil. Brother "Juniper 
was condemned to the gibbet 

On a time the devil, wishing to put Brother 
Juniper in fear, and vex him with trouble and 
adversity, went t.. a very cruel tyrant that was 
called Nicholas, the which was then at war with 
the city of Viterbo, and said : " Sir, look well to 
this your castle, for presently there is coming here 
a false traitor, sent by the folk of Viterbo, to kill 
you and set this castle on fire. And in token of 
the truth thereof, I give you these signs : He will 
come as a beggar, in garments all torn and patched, 
and his cowl hanging all tattered on his shoulder ; 
and he will bring with him an awl wherewith to 
kill you, and flint and steel to set fire to the castle 
withal ; and if you find not that this be true, on 
my head be it." At these words Nicholas was all 
distraught and filled with fear, for he that told 
him these words seemed to be an honest man. 
And he gave orders that the watch should be kept 
with care, and that if this fellow with the signs 
aforesaid should come, he should be brought before 
him straightway. Meantime came Brother Juniper 
p'.one, for by reason of his perfection he had leave 
to go and to stay alone, just as he pleased. Now 
there met him certain lusty youths, that began to 
laugh him to scorn and make mock of him. At 
all this he was not discjuieted, but rather led them 
on to be more merry with him. And when he came 
to the gate of the castle, and the guards beheld 
him so ill-favoured, in garments so scant and all 



mm.-m 



,:^* 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 217 

torn ; for .art of his habit for the love of God he 

wh.t l.ke a Brother Mmor ; sith the signs that had 
been given them were so clearly manifest, they 
di gged .:im furiously before that tyrant Nicholas. 
Anu when they of the household searched him, to 
see It he had arms to do hurt withal, they found 
in his sleeve an awl with which he used to mend 
his sandals; also they found a flint and steel, 
which he carried to light a fire ; for oftentimes he 
lived in the woods and deserts. Nicholas seeing 
these signs upon him, according to the testimony 
of the accusing devil, ordered that his head should 
be bound tight with cords, and so was it done, and 

his fl^h ?r '''u'"", '^/.'^"^ ="'"^^ "S^' i"'" 
»Ju J^^u '.'?"'' '""* '■''" °" '»"' '•"'^l', and let 
stretch and pull his arms and tear his body all in 
pieces without any mercy. And when they asked 
him if he wanted to betray the castle and give it 
up to the people of Viterbo, he answered : " I am 
the wor^t of traitors, and undeserving of anygood " 

t^.t J^'Vu'V^"^ ^'"" "'""*' 'hat awl he 
wished to kill the tyrant Nicholas, and burn the 

TTl'-fn^T^"'^'- ".^'''^ """^ things should 
I do, if God permitted it." Then Nicholas, over- 
come with anger, would no more examine him • 
but without delay he furiously condemned Brothel 
Juniper, as a traitor and a murderer, to be tied to 

l^M °lw '"'T'u"^ '^"Seed along the ground 
to the gibbet and there straightv ay hanged by the 
neck. And Brother Juniper made no defence' but 
as one that for the love of God is well contented 
in the midst of troubles, was all joyful and glad. 



228 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

And when the command of the tyrant wasexecuted, 
and Brother Juniper was tied by the feet to the 
tail of a horse and dragged along the ground, he 
uttered no complaint or lamentation, but as a gentle 
lamb that is brought to the alaughter, he went 
in all humility. At this sight and such sudden 
justice, ran all the people there to see him executed 
with such cruel haste, and no one recognised him. 
Nathless, as God willed, a good man that had seen 
Brother Juniper seized, and now beheld him so 
quickly judged to die, ran to the house of the 
Brothers Minor, and said : " For the love of God, 
I pray you come quickly, for a poor man hath been 
taken and sentence passed on him at once, and he 
hath been led away to die : come, at least that he 
may give up his soul into your hands, for he seems 
to me a good man, and hath had no time to confess 
him ; and he hath been led away to the gallows, 
and he seemeth to keep no care for death nor for 
the salvation of his soul : oh ! come quickly, I 
beseech you." The Guardian, who was a com- 
passionate man, went at once to care for the man's 
salvation : and winning there, he could not find 
entrance for the press of the folk that had gathered 
together to see this execution ; so he stood and 
bided his time, and as he waited he heard a voice 
in the midst of the crowd crying : " Let be, let 
be, you little rogues, you hurt my legs." At the 
sound of this voice, with fervour of spirit he threw 
himself into 'he midst of them, and took off the 
covering from the man's face, and then he recog- 
nised of a truth that it was Brother Juniper: 
wherefore for pity's sake the Guardian would have 



■'^^4M-f^ 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 229 

taken off his own habit and have put it on Brother 
Juniper. And he with cheerful countenance as 
though laughing, said: "O Guardian, thou art 
too fat, and it would look but ill to see you 
stripped : I will not have it." Then the Guardian 
with much weeping prayed the executioners and 
all the people for pity's sake to wait a little while, 
till he should go and entreat the tyrant for Brother 
Juniper, if perchance he might pardon him. The 
executioners and certain folk that stood by, con- 
senting thereunto, believing in sooth that the man 
was of his kinsfolk, the devout and compassionate 
Guardian gat him to the tyrant Nicholas with 
bitter weeping, and said : " My lord, I am in such 
amazement and distress of mind, as my tongue 
could never tell ; for it seemeth to me that in fhis 
lana hath been committed this day the greatest sin 
and the greatest wrong that hath ever been done 
since the days of our forefathers : and I believe 
that It has been done through ignorance." Nicholas 
heard him patiently, and then asked the Guardian ■ 
What IS the great sin and wrong that hath this 
day been committed in this land ? " Replied the 
Guardian: "My lord, that one of the holiest 
brothers now in the Order of S. Francis, unto which 
thou hast a singular devotion, has by thee been 
condemned to so cruel a sentence, and of a surety 
1 ween, without good reason." Quoth Nicholas • 
Now tell me. Guardian, who is this? for per- 
chance unwittingly I may have done great wrone " 
Quoth the Guardian : " He whom thou hast con- 
demned to death, is Brother Juniper, companion 
of S. Francis. AH horror-stricken, for he had 



I W 1 



»30 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

heard of the fame and of the holy life of Brother 
Juniper, and all pale as though with amaze, the 
tyrant Nicholas ran with the Guardian, and came 
to Brother Juniper, and loosed him from the tail 
of the horse and set him free, and in the presence 
of all the people fell flat upon his face before 
Brother Juniper.and with much great weeping con- 
fessed his fault for the grievous wrong and for the 
outrage that he had had done to this holy brother • 
and added: "I believe of a sooth that the days 
of my evil life are drawing to an end, sith I have 
so evil intreated this holy man without any good 
reason. God for my evil life will suffer me in 
a few days to die an evil death, albeit I did it 
unwittingly." Brother Juniper freely forgave the 
tyrant Nicholas : but God suffered it that a few 
days thereafter that tyrant Nicholas ended his 
days with a cruel death. And Brother Juniper 
departed, leaving all the people edified. 

ly. How Brother Juniper gave to the poor whatso- 
ever he could, for the love of Go/i 

Such pity had Brother Juniper for the poor and 
such compassion, that when he saw any one that 
was ill clad or naked, he would at once take off 
his tunic and the cowl of his cloak, and give it 
to the poor man : wherefore the Guardian com- 
manded him by holy obedience that he should give 
to no poor person the whole of his tunic or any 
part of his habit. Now it happened that a few 
days afterwards he met a poor man half-naked, 
who asked alms of Brother Juniper for the love 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 23, 

of God : to whom with much compassion he said • 
1 have nothing I can give thee, save my tunic- 
and my Superior hath by holy obedience enjoined 
me not to give it nor any part of my habit to any 
one; but if thou take it off my back, I will not 
say thee nay. ' He spoke not to the deaf; for 
straightway the poor man pulled his tunic off his 
back and went off with it, leaving Brother Juniper 
naked And when he returned to the house and 
was asked where his tunic was, he answered • "A 
pood man took it off my back and went away with 
It. And the virtue of compassion still growing 
m him he was not content with giving away his 
tunic but gave away books and vestments and 
mantles, and whatsoever he could lay hands upon 
he would give to the poor. And for this reason 
the brothers left nothing lying about, for that 
Brother Juniper gave away everything for the love 
or trod and for His glory. 

V. How Brother Juniper cut og certain hells from the 
altar, and gave them away for the love of God 

Once on a time about tiie Nativity of Christ 
Brother Juniper was at Assisi, in deep meditation 
before the altar ot the convent, the which altar 
was nght well decorated and adorned ; at the 
prayer of the sacristan. Brother Juniper remained 
to guard the said altar while the sacristan went 
away to eat. And as he stood in devout medita- 
tion, a poor woman begged alms of him for the 
love of God. To whom Brother Juniper made 
answer thus : " Wait a little, and I will see if I 



■^ 



232 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

can give you something from this altar so richly 
declced. Now on this altar there was a fringe 
of gold right lordly, and adorned with little sUvct 
bells of great price. Quoth Brother Juniper: 
These bells are a superfluity;" and he took a 
knife and cut them all off from the fringe, and 
gave them to that poor woman for pity's sake 
When the sacristan had eaten three or four mouth- 
fuls, he called to mind the ways of Brother Juniper, 
and began much to doubt lest Brother Juniper, 
through his zeal of charity, might play him some 
trick with the altar so richly decked, that he had 
left in his charge. And straightway in doubt he 
rose from the table and gat him to the church 
and looked to see if any of the ornaments of the 
altar had been removed or carried away ; and he 
saw that all the little bells had been torn ofl^and 
cut away from the fringe : whereat he was beyond 
all measure angered and disquieted. Brother 
Jumper, seeing him so troubled, said • " Be not 
distressed about those bells, for I have given them 
to a poor woman that had the greatest need of 
them, and here they were of no use at all, save only 
for vain, woridly pomp." Hearing this, the sac- 
ristan in great trouble ran straightway through 
the church and all through the city, if perchance 
he might find her again : but not only did he find 
her not, but found no one that had seen her So 
he returned to the House, and in a rage took up 
the fringe and brought it to the General, who was 
at Assisi, and said: "Father General, I cry 
justice aeainst Brother Juniper, the which hath 
spoiled this fringe of mine, the noblest that there 



ll'i 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 133 

w«s in all the sacristy; now see how he hath 
handled it and cut ofF all the silver bells, and 
tells me that to some poor woman he hath given 
them away.; Replied the General: "It if not 
Brother Juniper that hath done this, but rather 
thine own stupidity; for thou shouldest by this 
time know what manner of man he is : and I tell 
thee that I am surprised that he hath not given 
away all the rest; but nathless I will correct him 
well for this fault." And calling all the brothers 
together in Chapter, he sent for Brother Juniper- 
and in the presence of all the community, reproved 
him very harshly on account of the bells aforesaid • 
and so wrathful did he grow, that by raising his 
voice, he became quite hoarse. Brother JuSiper 
cared httle and wellnigh nothing for his words, 
tor he too_k delight in insults, whenever he was 
well abused : but in pity for the hoarseness of the 
^ner.1, he began to bethink him of a remedy 
And having received the rebuke of the General, 
Brother Juniper went to the city and ordered and 
let make a good pottage of flour and butter ; and 
when a good part of the night was passed, he re- 
turned and lit a candle and went with the pottage 
to the General s cell, and knocked. When the 
General opened the door and saw him standing 
there with the lighted candle and the pottage m 
his hand, he asked softly : " What is it ? "Replied 
Brother Juniper : " My father, to-day when thou 
didst reprove me for my faults, I saw that thy 
voice grew hoarse, I ween it were through over- 
much fatigue; wherefore I bethought me of a 
remedy, and let make this mess of flour for thee • 






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»34 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

therefore I pray thee eat it, for I do assure thee, 
It will ease thy chest and throat." Quoth the 
General: "What hour is this for yoJ^to come 
disturbing folk?" Replied Brother Juniper.- "See, 
It has been made for thee; I pray theermake no 

r^'" i J^'f"^'' ^°' " ""' '^° 'hee much 
good. And the Genei-al, being wroth for the 
lateness of the hour and his importunity, bade 
him begone, for he had no wish to eat at such an 
hour, calhng him scoundrel and caitiff. Brother 
Jumper, seeing that neither prayers nor coaxing 
could aught avail said: "My father, ,ith thou 
wilt not eat, and this pottage hath been made for 
thee, do this at least for me ; hold the candle for 
me and I will eat it." Then the General, being 
a pious man and devout, perceiving the piety and 
Mmphcity of Brother Juniper, andlhat out Ifdc- 
votion he had done all this, replied : " Come now, 
smce thou wilt have it so, let us eat it, you and 1 
together. And they twain ate the pottage of 
flour by reason of his importi-nate chanty. And 

by t'iirft^'"'''"' """'' ""^ '''' ''"°'"°" ">•" 

*'/. How Brother Juniper kept siUncefir six mnihs 

Once on a time Brother Juniper resolved to keep 
silence for six months after this manner. On the 
first day, for the love of the Heavenly Father, 
on the second day, Tor the love of Jesu Christ 
His Son On the third, for the love of the HoW 
Spint. On the fourth day, out of reverence for 
the most holy Virgin Mary; and thus, in order. 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 235 

each day for the love of some saint, he kept the 
SIX months m silence. "^ 

yil. An example of how to resiit the temptations 
oftheftesh 

Brother Giles, and Brother Simon of Assisi, and 
Brother Juniper being on a time met together to 
speak of God and of the salvation of the soul, 
quoth Giles unto the other brothers: "How do 
ye dral with temptations to carnal sin ? " Quoth 
Brother Simon : " I think on the vileness and the 
shame of sm, and a strong hatred thereof taketh 
hold on me and so I escape." fc-oth Brother 
Kuffino : I throw myself down upon the ground 
and continue in prayer, calling on the mercy of 
God and the Mother of Jesu Christ, until I feel 
m^lf wholly freed." Replied Brother Juniper : 
When I am ware of the tumult of the devilish 
suggestions of the flesh, at once I run and shut 
the door of my heart, and for the safety of the 
fortress of my heart, I occupy myself in holy 
meditations and holy desires: so that, when the 
carnal suggestion cometh or knocketh at the 
door of my heart, I answer as it were from within : 
Begone for the lodging is already ta'en, and no 
more folk may enter here within:' and thus no 
evil thought IS sufltred to find entrance within 
my heart: so that seeing itself conquered, it 
depms as it were discomfited, not only from me, 
But from all the country round." Brother Giles 
answered and said: "Brother Juniper, I hold 
with thee, for one cannot fight better with the 



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236 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

enemy of the flesh than by running away ; for the 
carnal appetite that is a traitor within, and the 
senses of the body without, make themselves felt 
as enemies so mighty and so strong, that one can- 
not conquer save by flight. Therefore he that 
does not want to fight in any other way, after the 
toil of battle oft-times gains the victory. Then 
flee from vice and thou shalt be the conqueror." 

^///. How Brother Jumper abased himself fir 
the glory of God 

Once on a time Brother Juniper desiring utterly 
to abase himself, stripped himself to his breeches, 
and making a bundle of his clothes set them upon 
his head, and thus half-naked entered into Viterbo 
and went into the public square to be mocked at. 
As he stood there, the children and the boysj 
deeming him out of his senses, made mock of him 
throwing mud upon his back, and pelting him 
with stones, pushing him now here, now there, with 
many a scofl^ and jeer ; and so tormented and 
laughed to scorn he stood there a great part of 
the day; after which he gat him back to the 
convent. And the brothers seeing him were very 
angry, chiefly because he had gone all throueh 
the city with his bundle on his head, and they 
reproved him harshly and threatened him. And 
the one said : " Let us put him in prison ; " and 
the other said; "Let us hang him;" and the 
rest said : " No punishment ye might devise could 
be too great for so bad an example as he has set 
this day, to his shame and that of all the Order." 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 237 

And Brother Juniper, full of joy, replied in all 
humility: "Well and truly have ye spoken, for 
of these punishments am I worthy and of much 
more. 

IX. How Brother Junker played see-saw to 
abase himself 

On a time as Brother Juniper was going to 
Rome, where the fame of his sanctity was already 
spread abroad, many Romans through their great 
devotion went out to meet him : and Brother 
Jumper seeing so many people coming, bethought 
him how he might turn their devotion into scorn 
and dension. There were two children there 
playing at see-saw, to wit, they had put one log 
across another log, and each sat at his own end 
and so went up and down. Brother Juniper went 
and put one of these children off the log, and 
got up himself, and began to see-saw up and 
down. Meanwhile tl.e folk came up and mar^ 
veiled to behold Brother Juniper a see-sawing • 
none the less with great devotion they saluted 
him and waited for him f. " ish his game of 
see-saw, so as to bear him compk..y with all honour 
to the convent. And Brother Juniper paid little 
heed to their salutations, their reverence, and 
their waiting for him, but took much great pains 
with his see-sawing. And waiting thus for some 
time, certain among them began to grow weary 
and said : " What mad fellow is this ? " Othera 
knowing his ways, grew in greater devoiion; 
nathless they all went away and left Brother 



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238 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 
Juniper on the see-saw. And when that they 
were all gone. Brother Juniper remained altogether 
conforted, because he had seen some folk that 
made a mock at him. So he went on his way 
and entered mto Rome with all meekness and 
humility, and came to the convent of the Brothers 
Minor. 

X. How Brother Jumper once cooked a fortnigMs 
food for the brethren 

On a time when Brother Juniper was staying in 
a very small House belonging to the brothen, it 
befell that for a certain reason all the brothers had 
to go out, and Brother Juniper remained in the 
house alone. Quoth the Guardian: "Brother 
Juniper, we are all going out, and therefore see to 
It that when we return, you have cooked a little 
food for the refreshment of the brothers." Re- 
plied Brother Juniper: "Right willingly, leave 
that to me.' All the brothers having ione out 
as hath been said, quoth Brother Juniper ■ " What 
unprofitable trouble is this, that one brother should 
be lost in the kitchen, and kept away from all 
prayer ? Of a surely, now that I am left behind 
this time to cook, I will make ready so much that 
all the brothers, and even were there more of them 
will have enough for a fortnight." And so with 
all diligence he went into the country, and begeed 
for several large coioking-pots, and got fresh meat 
and salted fowls, eggs, and herbs, and begged for 
firewood ,n plenty, and put them all on the fire 
to wit, the fowls with their feathers on, and the 



1 '\ 



^M.ZM. . 




FRANCIS OF ASSISI 239 

eggs in their shells, and all the rest in like fashion. 
When the brothers were come back to the house 
one that was well aware of Brother Juniper's 
simplicity, went into the kitchen, and saw so iM^ny 
great pots on an enormous fire; and he sat him 
down and looked on in amazement, but said nothing 
at all, watching with what care Brother Juniper did 
his cooking. Because the fire was very fierce and 
he could not well get near to skim the pots, he 
took a plank and with a rope tied it tight to his 
body and then kept jumping from one pot to 
another that it was a joy to look at him. Having 
watched It all with great delight, that brother lefi 
the kitchen, and found the other brothers, and said 
to them: "I can assure you. Brother Juniper is 
making a mamage-feast." But the brothers took 
his words as a jest. And Brother Juniper lifted 
the pot from the fire and let ring the dinner-bell ; 
»nd the brothers sat them down to table, and he 
came into the refectory with his dishes, all red with 
his labours and the heat of the fire, and said to the 
brothers: "Eat well: and then let us all go to 
prayer, and let no one think any more of cooking 
for a while ; for I have cooked so much food t^ 
day, that I shall have enough for more than a fort- 
night And Brother Juniper set his stew on the 
table before the brothers, and there is not a pig in 
all the land of Rome so famished as to have eaten 
it. But Brother Juniper cried up his dishes, for to 
find a customer ; and seeing that the brothers were 
eating nought thereof, said : " Now these fowls 
are strengthening to the brain, and this stew will 
refresh the body, it is so good." And while the 



240 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

brothers were full of amazement and devotion to 
see the devotion and simplicity of Brother Juniper, 
the Guardian being wroth with such stupidity and 
the waste of so much good food, reproved him 
roughly. Then Brother Juniper threw himself 
upon the ground and kneeled before the Guardian, 
and humbly confessed his fault to him and all the 
brothers, saymg: "I am the worst of men; such 
a one committed such and such a crime, and had 
his eyes put out ; but I deserve it more than he : 
such a one for his wickedness was hung, but I 
deserve it much more for my evil deeds : sith I 
have wasted so many of the good things of God 
and of the Order." And so all sorrowfully he 
went away, and all that day he did not show him- 
self where any of the brothers were. Then quoth 
the Guardian : " My brothers most dear, if only 
we had it, I would that every day this brother 
spoiled as much as he hath to-day, if so he might 
be edified, for great simplicity and charity have 
made him do this thing." 

XI. How Brother Juniper went on a time to Assisi 
for his own confusion 

On a time when Brother Juniper was dwelling 
m the Valley of Spoleto, being ware that there was 
a great festival at Assisi and that much folk was 
winning there with great devotion, there came to 
him the wish to go to that festival ; and behold ! 
Brother Juniper stripped himself to his breeches 
and so set out, passing through Spoleto right 
through the middle of the town, and came to the 






I S. FRi 

I convent. The bro 

I scandalised, reprov 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 241 

lr!!^^rJ^^'' ^°'^f" '*'"8 """^h disquieted and 
scandalised, reproved him full harshly, alline him 

wollTbr/ • ■ "t«.°"; »g-st^im tfat h" 
would bring ruin on the Order of S. Francis and 

°^tj° t* ''""t' "P "' ' '"""'- A-ld the 
ueneral, who was then m the convent, let call all 
the b^then and Brother Juniper, and in th^ pre " 
ence of the whole community gave him a harsh 
.tleT'*;'P'°°^- ^""^ «fte?many words of 
Thy fault 1, such, and is so grievou^ thkt I 
know not what fitting penance tflay on thee." 
Rephed Brother Juniper, as one tha'i delighted 
in h.s own confusion: "Father, I will tell thee 

hTher'^f- ''" '" ''' T" """"" " I "- 
hither, so for penance wike I should return to 

fetiv'ar- "''"" ' ''"*"' ^°' *° =<""' '° f^' 

XII. H0U, Bmher Juniper was rapt in ecstasy while 
celebrating the Mass 

As Brother Juniper on a time was hearing Mass 
with much devotion, he was npt in ecstwy wkh 
mmd uplifted for a long time. And having ^e„ 
left in a room far removed from the brmheri 
coming to himself again, he began with grS fc^ 

eXfi ""I- ','? r '""^'^.''ho is^heres" 
waited in this life that would not gladly carry a 
basket of dung through all the world, if h^ad 
given him a whole house full of gold ? " And 
he said : " Alas, that we are not willing io endure 
a little shame to gain the blessed life." 



I4i THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 



XIII. Of the sorrow that Brother Juniper felt at the 
death of his companion. Brother Amazialiene 

Brother Juniper had as his companion a brother 
named Amazialbene, whom he very dearly loved. 
This man possessed in the highest degree the 
virtues of patience and obedience ; for, if he were 
beaten for the whole day long, he would never 
murmur nor complain with a single word. He 
was oft-times sent to houses where the community 
was hard to live with, at whose hands he suffered 
much persecution : the which he endured most 
patiently, without any murmuring. According 
to the bidding of Brother Juniper, he would weep 
and laugh. Now this Brother Amazialbene, as 
it pleased God, died in the best repute : and 
Brother Juniper hearing of his death, felt such 
sorrow in his soul as he had never had in all his 
life from any earthly cause. And thuswise did 
he show forth the great bitterness that he felt 
within, and said : " Woe is me ! wretched man 
that I am, for now is no good thing left to me ; 
and the world is undone through the death of 
my sweet and dearest brother, Amazialbene ! " 
And he said : " If it were not that I should 
have no peace with the brothers, I would go to 
his grave and take up his head ; and out of his 
head I would make two porringers ; one of which 
I would always eat out of, in memory of him 
and for my devotion's sake : and from the other 
I would drink, whenever I was thirsty and wished 
to drink." 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 143 

XIV. Of the hand that Brother Juniper saw 
in the air 

Brother Juniper being on a time at prayer and 
thmkmg perhaps great thing, of himself, there 
W«red to h,m a hand in the air above hi;. ,nd 
with the ears of his body he heard a voice, that 

this hand Ik """'^ "O Brother Juniper, without 
this hand thou canst do nothing." Whereat he 

Im W°''' ""? " -'.'".e "P W' eyes and turning 
through the convent : " "Tis true indeed, 'tis true 
indeea And these words he said again and 
again for a long while. 



XV. An example of Brother Leo, how S. Francis 
hade him wash the stone 

In the mount of Alvernia, as S. Francis was 
speaking with Brother Leo, quoth S. Francis: 
Brother little sheep, wash this stone with water " 
Brother Leo ^s quick, and washed the stone with 
»3ter. Quoth S. Francis with great ioy and 
gladness: "Washit with wine ; " Ld so was U 
done. Wash it," quoth S. Francis, " with oil • " 

"Bror,rl>?lT " "^T- Q""*" S. Franci's: 
Brother little sheep, wash this stone with balsam " 

can I find balsam m so wild a place as this?" 
nf f-r- f' ^""^'^^''Know, brother little sheep 
of Christ that IS the stone whereon Christ did 
sit when He appeared on a time to me here ; and 




»44 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



therefore have 1 said to thee four times, Wash it ; 
and keep silence ; for Jesu Christ hath promised 
unto me four special graces for my Order. The 
first is that all they that shall love my Order with 
their whole heart, and the brothers that shall 
persevere, shall by the grace of God make a good 
end. The second is that the persecutors of this 
Order shall notably be punished. The third is 
that no wicked man shall be able to remain long 
m this Order, if so be he continue in his wicked- 
ness. The fourth is that this Order shall endure 
even unto the last judgment." 



THE LIFE OF THE BLESSED BROTHER 
GILES, THE COMPANION OF S. 
FRANCIS 



ni 



/. Hm Bntlur GiU, and thru cmpanims wiri rueivid 
nU the Order if the Mmrs 

Seeibo that the examples of holy men do put in 
the minds of devout hearers to despise the fleetinir 
joys of earth, and that they have wherewith to st^ 
up the desire of eternal salvation: to the honour 
of God and His most worshipful Mother Our 
Udy, holy Mary, and for the profit of all that 
may hear the same, I will speak certain words 
touching the working which the Holy Spirit hath 
worked in our holy Brother Giles, the which, beine 
stiU m the secular habit, and being touched of the 
Holy Spirit, began within himself to consider 
how m all his works he might please God alone. 
About this time did S. Francis, like a new herald 
of God sent as an ensample of godly life, humility 
and holy pemtence, two years after his conver- 
sion, draw and attract to the observance of jrospel 
poverty a certain man adorned with marvellous 
prudence and very rich in temporal goods, named 
MeMer Bernard ; and also Peter Cattani; so that 
by the counsel of S. Francis they distributed unto 

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246 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

the poor, for the love of God, all their worldly 
treasures, and took to themselves the glory of 
patience and of gospel perfectness, and the habit 
of the Brothers Minor; and with exceeding great 
fervour they promised to observe the Rule all the 
days of their life, and even so did they in all per- 
fection. Eight days after the conversion set forth 
above and the distribution of their goods to the 
poor, whileas Brother Giles was still wearing the 
secular garb, beholding how those noble knights 
of Assisi despised the world, so that the whole 
country round was in amazement, being all afire 
with love divine, on the following day, which was 
the feast of S. George, in the year twelve hundred 
and nine, very early in the morning, as one that 
was careful for his salvation, he went to the church 
of S. Gregory, where was the convent of S. Clare ; 
•nd when he had done his prayers, being much 
desirous to see S. Francis, he went to the lepers' 
hospital, where he lived with Brother Bernard and 
Brother Peter Cattani, dwelling apart in a hut in 
the deepest humility. And being come unto a 
cross-way, and not knowing by which way to go, 
he lifted up his prayer to Christ, the precious 
Guide, who led him to the said hut by the straight 
way. And as he pondered on that for the which 
he had come, S. Francis met him, as he was walk- 
ing in the wood, whither he had come to pray ; 
then straightway he threw himself on the ground 
on his knees before S. Francis, and humbly be- 
sought him for the love of God to take him as 
one of his companions. S. Francis, gazing on the 
devout aspect of Brother Giles, answered and said : 



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S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 247 

" Brother most dear, God hath shown Himself ex- 
ceedmg gracious unto thee. If the emperor were 
to come to Assisi and desire to make a certain 
citizen his knight or private chamberlain, oueht 
not such a one to be exceeding glad ? How much 
more oughtest thou not to rejoice that God hath 
chosen thee out to be His knight and well-beloved 
jervant, to observe the perfection of the Holy 
t^spel? be thou therefore steadfast and firm in 
the vocation whereto God hath called thee." And 
he took him by the hand and lifted him up, and 
brought him into the little house aforesaid; and 
he called Brother Bernard, and said: "The Lord 
God hath sent us a good brother, for whom we 
should all rejoice m the Lord ; let us eat together 
m chanty. And when that they had eafen, S. 
l-rancis went with the said Giles to Assisi, for to 
get cloth to make the habit for Brother Giles. 
They found by the way a poor woman that asked 
alms of them for the love of God ; and not know- 
ing now to relieve the poor woman, S. Francis 
turned towards Brother Giles with an aneelic 
countenance, and said: "For the love of God 
dear brother, let us give this mantle to the poo^ 
woman. And Brother GUes obeyed the holy 
father with so ready a heart that it seemed to 
him he aw that alms fly at once to heaven, and 
Brother Giles flew with it straight to heaven: ,0 
that he .elr within himself joy unspeakable and a 
tresh renewing of spirit. When S. Francis had 
aot the cloth and made the habit, he received 
Brother Giles mto the Order, and he was one of 
the most glorious Religious that the world had at 



!, !•( 



248 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

that time in the contemplative life. After the 
reception of Brother Giles, S. Francis went with 
him straightway to the March of Ancona, singing 
with him glorious praises of the Lord of heaven 
and earth ; and he said to Brother Giles : " Little 
son, our Order will be like unto the fither, that 
casts his net into the sea and gathers a multitude of 
fishes, and the large he keeps and leaves the small 
in the water." Brother Giles marvelled at this 
prophecy, for as yet there were in the Order only 
three brothers and S. Francis ; and albeit S. Francis 
did not yet preach publicly to the people, yet as he 
went by the way he admonished and corrected the 
men-folk and the women-folk, saying lovingly to 
them these simple words : " Love and fear God, 
and do fit penance for your sins." And Brother 
Giles would say: "Do what this my spiritual 
Father saith unto you, for he speaketh right well." 



//. How Brother Giles went to S. James the Great 

As time wore on, Brother Giles, by leave of & 
Francis, went on a time to S. James the Great in 
Galicia, and in all that journey only once did he 
suffer hunger by reason of the great dearth that 
was in all the country. For as he went along 
asking alms snd finding none that would show 
him charity, in the evening he lighted by chance 
on a threshing-floor, wherein had been left some 
dry beans, the which he gathered up, and these 
were his evening meal; and there he slept the 
night, for of his own will he dwelt in solitary 



iW^L^- 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



249 



plac« .nd remote from other folk, that he might 
t^T 8'^' himself up to prayers and vi^ls. 

ened by God. that .f he had eaten of divers di^es, 
he deemed he could not have found so much re- 
freshment therein. As he went on his way, he 

alms for the love of God. And Brother Giles full 
of chanty seemg that he had naught else save the 
habit on his back, cut off the cowl from his old 

„f nlf 8."^" '? *''' P"""" •"«" for the love 
Of l,od ; and thus for twenty days together he 
journeyed on without a cowl! And a! he wat 
coming back through Lombardy, he was called by 
a man, to whom he went right willingly, thinking 
to receive an alms of him : and when he stretched 
put his hand, that other put therein a pair of dice, 

nght humbly : "God forgive thee, my son." So, as 
he took hisway through theworid, he suffered much 
mocking, and bore it all with a tranquil mind. 



///. After whatfashuH Brother Giles led hi, life 
vihtH he went to the Holy Sepulchre 

,?,™*.*'" Giles went to visit the Holy Sepulchre 

port of Bnndisi, and there he tarried many days 

Brother Giles, desiring to live by the labour of 
his hands, begged for a pitcher, and filling it with 
water went aying through the city : '• Who lacks 



1] 



ll 



2JO THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

water ? " And by his labour he earned bread and 
such things as be needful for the life of the body, 
both for himself and for his companion ; and then 
he went over-sea, and visited the Holy Sepulchre 
of Christ and the other holy places, with great 
devotion. And coming back again, he tarried in 
the city of Ancona for many days ; and for that 
he was wont to live by the labour of his hands, 
he made baskets of rushes and sold them, not 
for money, but for bread for himself and his 
companion, and for the self-same wage he carried 
the dead for the burying. And when this failed 
him, he returned to the table of Jesu Christ, 
begging alms from door to door. And so with 
much toil and poverty, he returned to S. Mary of 
the Angels. 



IV. Him Brother Giles praised obedience more 
than prayer 

On a time a certain brother was at prayer in 
his cell, and the guardian sent to him bidding 
him by holy obedience go and beg for alms. 
Whereat straightway he gat him to Brother Giles, 
and said : " My father, f was at prayer, and the 
guardian has bidden me go and beg for bread : 
and to me it secmeth to be better to continue in 
prayer." Replied Brother Giles : " My son, hast 
thou not yet learned or understood what manner 
of thing is prayer? True prayer is to do the 
will of one's Superior ; and it is a sign of great 
pride in one who hath put his neck under the 



\\h\ 



a FRANCIS OF ASSISI 251 

yoke of holy obedience, if on any account he 
avoid It, to the end that he may work his own 
will, thinking thereby to act more perfectly. The 
Keligious who is perfectly obedient is like a rider 
mounted on a powerful horse, through whose 
strength he goes boldly on his way; but on the 
contrary the disobedient, complaining, and unwill- 
ing Religious, is like a man mounted on a lean 
and weak and vicious horse, for after doing a 
little work it is left behind either dead or taken 
by the enemy. I tell thee that if a man were so 
devout and so uplifted in soul as to speak with 
Angels, and while thus speaking were called by 
his Superior, he ought straightway to leave the 
converse of the Angels and be obedient unto him 
that is set over him." 



y. How Brother Giles lived by the labour 
of his hands 

Brother Giles being on a time in a convent at 
Home desired to live by the work of his hands 
as had been his wont ever since he entered the 
Order, and he did after this manner. In the 
morning early he heard a Mass with much devo- 
tion : then he went to the wood, which was eight 
miles distant from Rome, and brought back on 
his rfioulders a bundle of wood, and sold it for 
bread and other things to eat. One time among 
others, as he was returning with a load of woocT 
a woman wished to buy it of him ; and having 
made a bargain and fixed the price, he carried n 



'^l 



THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

to her house. The woman, despite the bargain 
she had made, seeing that he was a Religious, 
gave him more than she had promised him. 
Quoth Brother Giles: "Good woman, I would 
not that the vice of greed should overcome me : 
therefore will I uke no more than the price that 
I have bargained for with thee." So not only 
would he take no more, but left half of the price 
agreed upon, and gat him gone; whereat the 
woman was filled with exceedmg great reverence 
for him. Thus did Brother Giles alway give 
good heed to holy honesty in all the work he did 
for hire. He used to help the labourers gather 
the olives and strip the vines. Whileas he was 
one day in the market-place, a certain man wished 
to let beat his walnut trees, and asked another to 
beat them for a price : but he made excuse, because 
it was a long way ofF, and the trees were very 
hard to climb. Quoth Brother Giles: "My 
friend, if thou wilt give me a part of the nuts, 
I will go with thee to beat them ; " and having 
covenanted with him, he set forth, and having 
first made the sign of the most holy Cross, with 
great fear climbed up the walnut tree for to beat 
It. And when he had done beating, the share 
that fell to him was so large that he could not 
carry it in his lap ; wherefore he took off his 
habit, and tying the sleeves and the hood together, 
he made a sack of it ; and his habit thus full of 
nuts, he put it on his back and carried it to Rome, 
and gave them all with great joy to the poor, for 
the love of God. When the corn was cut. Brother 
Giles used to go with other poor folk to glean 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 253 

^f'r^V*"'' if anyone offered him a handful 
of corn, he would answer : "My brother, I have 
no granary wherein to store it ; " and most times 

fo-^i f K ''",i'l^°"' ''''P^'l another all day 
long, for he would bargain to have some time 
to say the canonical hours and not mis, his menul 
prayers. On a time Brother Giles went " 
Fountam of S. &xtus to draw waterfor the monk,! 
RilLT .t'^'n-^"" '° eive him to drink 
th/i I i:°r" *^''"= "A"'* '«'" "" I carry 
the ve^l half empty to the monk, ? " He beine 
angered spake unto Brother Giles many word! 
of msu^t and of contumely: and Brother GHe 
B^Z- '° ,"■" ■"""k'much grieved in s^rft 

to The ^^h" /"*' ""'?'• ''"""'"^d straightway 
to the ,aid fountam for water, and found the 
man agam; and ^\d: "IVIy friend, take and 
dnnk« much,, thy soul desireth. and be not 
angered for that I deemed it ill-b;«eming to 
carry water whereof one had drunk to those holy 
monk, Then the man repenting him, and 
constramed by the charity and hrmilitf of Brother 

^lih'hfwK— "l'? /""• "<* '■"'» 'hat ho,^ 
forth held him in high reverence. 



ri. How Brother Giles was miraculously cared fir i„ 
a ttme of great need, when by reason of the deep 
snow he could not go to ieg alms 

Brother Giles being at Rome in the house of a 
cardinal, as the tune of the greater Lent drew 



,'f 



254 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

nigh, and not finding such peace of mind as he 
desired, said to the cardinal: "My father, by 
your leave, I wish to go for the peace of my soul 
to pass this Lent with my companion in some 
lonely place." Replied the cardinal : " Alas I my 
brother most dear, and whither wouldest thou go ? 
The famine is full sore : as yet ye know the land 
but ill ; come, be content to continue in my court, 
for right well pleased shall I be to give you what- 
soe'er ye need, for the love of God." Howbeit 
Brother Giles would fain be gone, and he gat him 
forth from Rome to a high mountain, where of 
old had stood a village, and still was found a de- 
serted church that was called S. Laurence, and he 
entered therein, he and his companion, and they 
continued in prayer and in much meditation ; they 
were unknown, and thereby was little reverence 
and devotion paid to them; wherefore they suffered 
great want : and therewithal there fell deep snow 
that lasted many days. They could not go outside 
the church, and no man sent them aught to eat, 
nor had they anything with them, and so they re- 
mained shut up for three days and nights. Brother 
Giles seeing that he could not live by the labour of 
his hands, and that he could not go out to beg for 
alms, said to his companion : " My brother most 
dear, let us cry unto the Lord with a loud voice, 
that of His pity He may provide for us in this 
great extremity and need ; for certain monks being 
m great need, cried unto God, and the Divine 
Providence supplied their wants." So after their 
example they gave themselves up to prayer, be- 
seeching God with all their hearts that He would 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 255 

send them help in their great need. And God 
who IS .ll-p.t,ful, had regard unto their faith and 
devotion and simplicity and fervour, after this 
fashion. A certain man that was looking towards 
the church in which Brother Giles and his com- 

hirjff''"°TV "\'T '"'* °' ^°^' '"<^ ""hin 
hnmelf : It may be that in yon church are some 
good persons doing penance, who by reason of the 
snow that hath so much fallen, cannot supply their 
needs, and by reason thereof may die of hunger." 
And urged on by the Holy Spirit, he said : " Of 
a surety I will go and see whether my imagination 

Lrnf°'-"°V ""^ **'''"e »ome brea! and a 
bottle of wme, he set out upon his way ; and with 
exceeding great difficulty he came to the ch^ch 
aforesaid, where he found Brother Giles and his 
companion praying most devoutly ; and they were 
so consumed with hunger that to all seeming they 
appeared rather to be dead men than alive He 
had great compassion on them, and when they 
7^ ". u!""^ •"".'i '='""f°"^d, he returned and 
told unto his neighbours the need and the distress 
of the« brothers, andprevailed on them and prayed 
them for the love o/God to make provisi^ for 
them ; so that many persons, following his example 
brought them bread and wine and other needfu 
viands for the love of God ; and all through that 
Lent they took such order among themselves that 
in their need they were provided for. And Brother 
Oiles pondering on the great mercy of God and .he 
chanty of those folk, said to his companion : ■• My 
brother most dear, even now have we prayed unto 
God to provide for us in our need, and our prayers 



256 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

have been heard : wherefore it is fitting that we 
give Him thanks and glory, and pray for them 
that have nourished us with their alms, and for all 
Christian people." And for his great fervour and 
devotion, God gave such grace unto Brother Giles 
that many through his example left this blind 
world, and many others whose hearts were not 
turned to the religious life, did much great penance 
in their own homes. 



VII. Of the day of the death of the holy Brother 
Gilts 

On the vigil of S. George at the hour of Matins, 
when two and fifty years had passed away, for that 
he had received the habit of S. Francis on the first 
day of the month, the soul of Brother Giles was 
received by God into the glory of Paradise, to 
wit, on the festival of S. George. 



VIII. How a holy man, being at prayer, saw the soul 
of Brother Giles pass into life eternal 

A certain good man being at prayer, what time 
Brother Giles passed away from this life, saw his 
soul, together with a multitude of souls, come 
forth out of Purgatory and rise up into heaven : 
and Jesu Christ come to meet the soul of Brother 
Giles, and, with a great company of Angels and 
all those souls, ascend with sweet melodies into 
the glory of Paradise. 




mmr 




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S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



257 



IX. Ho^hihe menu of Bmher Gilts, At soul of 
'Jp'Mofa certain Preaching Brother was set 
free from the pains of Purgatory 

but a few days to live, a Brother of S. Dominic 
fell s,ck unto death Now this man had a fri nd 
that was also a brother: who seeing that he drew 

bJI^h""'?.^'^"'' 1"''' '° ">'' ''^k brother? "My 
brother, I desire that, if God give thee leave thou 
return to me after thy death !nd tell mein wha" 
state thou mayest be." So the sick man promi«d 
to return .f .t were possible : now he and Brother 
Giles died on the self^sam. day, and after his death 
he appe„ed to the living Preaching Brother and 
»>d : "It IS the will of God that I keep mv nro- 
mjse to thee." Said the living brother to'^rhe d^ad 

It IS well for ! died on the very day whereon 
^ere passed away from this life a hofy Brother 
Minor, named Brother Giles, unto whom, by reason 
of his great sanctity, Jesu Christ granted that he 
.hould lead to Paradise all the soSi, that were in 
Purgatory among the which was I, in great tor- 
ment ; so by the merit, of the holy Brofher Giles 
wa. 1 set free. And this said, straightway he 
disappeared, and that brother revealed the vi-ion 
unto no man. Then the said brother fell sick " 

becauV^^hT'""^""',^"^ '""' »•'-'' him 
because he had not revealed the virtue and the 

Minor, and there came to him five couples; and 

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S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



when he '.ad called the Preaching Brothers also, 
with great devotion he set forth unto them the 
vision aforesaid ; and having diligently enquired, 
they found that they twain had passed away from 
this life on the self-same day. 



X. How God had given graces unto Brother Gilei, 
and of the year of his death 

Brother Bonaventura of Bagnoreggio used to 
say of Brother Giles that God had granted unto 
him special grace for all such as commended them- 
selves unto him with devout intention in those 
things that appertain unto the soul. He wrought 
many miracles in his lifetime and after his death, 
as is clearly set forth in his Legend ; and he passed 
away from this life unto glory everlasting in the 
year of our Lord twelve hundred and fifty-two, 
on the feast of S. George ; and was buried at 
Perugia in the convent ofthe Brothers Minor. 



HERE BEGIN THE CHAPTERS OF 
SUNDRY GOODLY SAYINGS AND 
OF THE TEACHING OF BROTHER 



i' Ofvictt and virtuei 

Udder whereby men may climb into Heaven ; but 
vices and sm, are . road and a ladder whereby to 

fre ^Tm "■■ '''P'!" °^ '''"• Vice, and sin" 
are a deadly po.son ; but virtues and good work, 

"^^oth:'"^'"'''""^ °"' g^ce^leaderh t 
'o another, and one vice leadeth on to another 
orace seeketh not praise ; but vice cannot endu4' 
to be de,p.,ed In humility the mind i, at re« 
and peace; patience i, her daughter. And holy 

Him. If thou lovest, thou wilt be loved. If thou 

wr^'f«°7"Sf"r%'- 'f'houfe.rest.thou 
wi t be feared. If thou doest good unto other, 

bl^ir-"*^ "r "'"r ^° g°o 'unto thee But 
blessed „ lie that truy loves and seeketh not love 

not to be feared. Bles«:d i, he that «rve, a"d 
desire, not to be served. Blessed is he that dc^th 
good unto others and seeketh not that other, do 

■M 



\* 



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i: * 




260 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

good to him. But sith these things are very 
high and of great perfectness, therefore the foolish 
cannot know them or attain unto them. Three 
things are exceeding high and useful, the which 
whoso hath, shall never fall. The first is that 
thou willingly endure with gladness every tribula- 
tion that may come to thee, for the love of Jesu 
Christ. The second is that thou humble thyself 
every day in all things whatsoever thou doest and 
in all things that thou loolcest upon. The third 
is that faithfully with all thy heart thou love that 
highest, heavenly, unseen good, which none may 
look upon with the eyes of the body. Those 
things that are despised and reviled by worldly 
men, are of a sooth more acceptable and pleasing 
to God and to His Saints, and those that are more 
loved and more honoured and more desired by 
worldly men, these are more despised and con- 
temned and hated by God and by His Saints. This 
foul unfitness proceedeth from human ignorance 
and wickedness ; for miserable man loveth rather 
the things that he should hate, and hateth the 
things that he should love. On a time Brother 
Giles asked another brother, saying : " Tell me, 
dear brother, hast thou a good soul?" Replied 
the brother : " I wot not if I have or no." Then 
said Brother Giles : " My brother, I would have 
thee know that holy contrition, and holy humility, 
and holy charity, and holy devotion, and holy joy, 
make the soul good and blessed." 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



261 



//. Ofhaith 

All the thing, that can be thought of by the 
heart, or sa.d with the tongue, or leen with the 

>n respect and in comparison of those things that 
cannot be thought of, nor seen, nor touch d^ A 

wav'C dl rh" "^l"'" ■"" ""' •"- P*"^" 
Za'Tx. ^"'^ ""' "" •" 'he presenVlife 
and all they that shall come after us, that have 
spoken or written, or shall speak or write of God 
W.U never show forth nor will ever be able to sh^' 
forth, concerning God so much as a grain of milleT 
TartT^nd '"' ".""P"."'"" "' "'' ''"ven and he 

stammennK, even as the mother that prattles to 
her babe, Aat would not understand her wordf 

Giles said toajudge that was of the world : " Dost 
thou believe that the gifts of God are greats- 
Replied the judge: ••''l do believe." '^he^t 

d^tnotf^' r^ ',f .L,- ' "'" '•'°'^ '»■« ^r "ou 
^ What il'lh "'' 'f 'T- *"'* ^'^^^ him thus : 

m^v l« a ^ }" J"'^8.-= \ " They are worth. 

Giles . Wouldest thou give these thy possessions 

withou delay saying: "Of a sooth would f gife 

••vTrill^l, t""«'^"'"' «™"'" Giles ii^ 
Verily all the possessions of this world are as 



.,. > 



»62 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

naught in respect of the things of heaven : then 
wherefore dost thou not give these thy possessions 
unto Christ, that thou mayest gain those that be 
celestial and eternal ? " Then the judge, wise in 
the foolish science of the world, answered the pure 
and simple Brother Giles, full of the wisdom of 
divine foolishness, saying: "Dost thou believe. 
Brother Giles, that any man worketh with the 
works of his hands in such measure as he believeth 
in his heart ? " Replied Brother Giles : " Know of 
very sooth, my dearly beloved, that all the Saints 
have studied to fulfil in their works all that they 
could know to be the will of God, according to 
the measure of their power ; and all that they 
could not fulfil with the working of their hands, 
they fulfilled with the holy desires of their will ; 
in such wise that they supplied by the desire of 
their souls that which was lacking in the work of 
their hands, and so they came short in nothing." 
Then quoth Brother Giles : " If there were a man 
possessed of perfect faith, in a short time he would 
come to a state of perfectness, wherein he would 
receive full certamty of his salvation. The man 
that with firm Jaith looketh for this eternal and 
loftiest and highest good, what hurt or harm 
could any earthly trouble in this present life do 
to him? And the wretched man that waiteth 
for eternal woe, what blessing can any prosperity 
or temporal good in this world bring to him? 
Nathless, however great a sinner a man may 
be, he should not therefore despair, so long as 
he liveth, of the infinite mercy of God, for there 
is no tree in the world so thorny or lo gnarled 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 263 

or so knotty that men cnnot smooth it and 
polish It and trim it .nd make it fair to see; 
and even so there is not a man in this world so 
wicked or so great a sinner that God cannot con- 
vert him and adorn him with singular graces and 
with manifold gifts of virtue." 



lf*T 



///. Of holy humility 

No man may come into any knowledge and 
understanding of God, save by the virtue of holy 
humility; for the straight path that goeth up is 
the path that leadcth down. All the dangersand 
the grievous falls that have happed in thitworU, 
have come from none other cause save from the 
hftine up of the head, to wit the mind, in pride • 
and the same is proved by the fall of the devil who 
was cast out of heaven, and by the fall of our first 
pirent, to wit Adam, who was driven out of 
Faradise by reason of the lifting up of his head 
to wit his disobedience, and likewise by the 
mnsee, whereof Christ speaketh in the Gospel 
and by many other examples. And so contrari- 
wise, .11 the great blessings that have befallen this 
world, have all proceeded forth from the bowing 
of the head to wit the humbling of the mind, eveS 
as IS proved by the blessed most humble Virgin 
Mary, and by the Publican, and by the holy Thief 
upon the Cross, and by many other examrl.s in 
the Scriptures. And therefore it would be well 
If we could hnd some heavy and grievous weight 
the which we might always carry tied to our neck' 



■ '. ' 



264 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

to the end that it might be ever bent down, to 
wit, that it might ever make us humble. A certain 
brother asked Brother Giles: "Tell me, father, 
m what manner we may flee from this pride " 
Whereunto answered Brother Giles: "My brother 
be thou assured of this, to wit, that thou canst 
never hope to be able to flee from pride, unless 
thou first put thy mouth where now thou hast thy 
feet ; but if thou dost ponder well the loving- 
kindnesses of God, then wilt thou understand that 
rightly art thou bound to bend down thine head 
And likewise, if thou dost well bethink thee of 
thy faults and of the many ofl^ences thou hast com- 
mitted against God, thou wilt have full reason to 
humble thyself. But woe unto those that desire 
to be honoured for their wickedness sake. One 
degree of humility is found in the man who 
knoweth that he is the enemy of his own good. 
One degree of humility is to render unto another 
the things that are his and not to take them for 
oneself; to wit, that every good thing and every 
virtue that man findeth in himself, he should not 
ascribe unto himself, but only unto God, from 
whom Cometh every grace and every good thing ; 
but ;;very sin and passion of the soul, or whatsoever 
vice man findeth in himself, he should ascribe unto 
himself, seeing that it proceedeth from himself and 
his own wickedness, and no' from others. Blessed 
is the man that knows and deems himself to be 
vile before God, and so Iwfore men ! Blessed is he 
that always judges himself and condemns himself 
and not another ! for then he will not be judged 
by that terrible and eternal last judgment. Blessed 



#iir^r* r.ii 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 26j 

is he that taketh heed to pass under the yoke of 
obedience and under the authority of another, as 
• '''^''O'y Apostles, before and after they re- 
ceived the Holy Spirit I " Likewise Brother Giles 
said : He who wishes to gain and to possess 
perfect peace and rest, must needs look on every 
man as his superior, and must always show himself 
submissive and inferior to all. Blessed is the man 
who in his actions and his speech seeketh not to 
be seen or known, save only in that pure order 
and m that simple adornment wherewith God hath 
adorned and ordered him ! Blessed is the man 
who knoweth how to keep and to hide the divine 
revelations and consolations ! for there is no thine 
so secret but that God reveals it whensoever it 
Pleaseth him. If a man were to be the most per- 

!f ilr ""u?' ''':'/ *"'" '" '*>« «'°'-''J. ""d think 
and believe himself to be the most miserable sinner 
and the vilest wretch on earth, then in this man 
would be true humility. Holy humility knoweth 
not how to talk, and the blessed fear of God 
knoweth not how to speak." Quoth Brother 

i ! Humility seemeth to me to be like unto 
a flash of hghtmng; for even as the lightning 
striketh a terrible blow, crashing and breaking iS 
pieces and burning up whatsoever it meets, and 
then the flash is no more to be found; so in like 
manner humility pierces .nd scatters and burns 
and consumes all wickedness and all vice and all 
wn; and then is found to be naught in itself 
I he man that possesseth humility, through humi- 
lity finds grace with God, and perfect place with 
nis neighbour. 



Lr-:^!:^ 



»66 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 



ly. Of At holy fear of God 

He that fears not, shows that he hath naught to 
lose. The holy fear of God orders, govern, and 
rules the soul, and maketh it come to grace If 
a man possesseth any grace or divine v&tue, it is 
holy fear that keepeth it safe. And whoso hath 
not yet obtained virtue or grace, holy fear maketh 
him obtain it. The holy Fear of God is a guide 
to guide us unto godly graces, for it maketh the 
soul wherein it dwells to attain right soon unto 
holy virtue and heavenly graces. All creatures that 
now are fallen in sin, would never have fallen, if 
they had had the holy fear of God. But this holy 
gift of fear is not given save unto the perfect, for 
the more perfect a man is, the more doth he fear 
and humble himself Blessed is the man that 
knoweth that in this world he is in prison, and 
ever remembereth how grievously he hath offended 
his Lord I Man should alway stand in great fear 
of pnde lest it make a thrust at him and make 
him fall from the state of grace, wherein he stands- 
for man can never dwell securely, whiles he is in 
the midst of our enemies ; and our enemies are 
the enticements of this miserable world and our 
own flesh, the which, together with the demons 
ever make war upon the soul. A man should have 
greater fear of his own wickedness lest it overcome 
him and lead him astray, than of any other of his 
enemies. It is impossible for a man to ascend and 
rise up to any grace or heavenly virtue, or persevere 
in the same, without holy fear. Whoso hath not 



M 






S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 267 

the fear of God, !s in danger of perishing and of 
bemg altogether lost. The fear of God maketh 
man to humbly obey and bend his neck under the 
yoke of obedience ; and the more fear a man doth 

a!f 'i! .l"""? '^'"""'' '^°"' '« P^y- N° ""»'■ 
gift IS that of prayer, unto whomsoever it may be 

given. The virtuous deeds of men, however great 
they may appear to us, are not accounted 0? re- 
warded after our judgment, but after the judgment 
and good pleasure o? God ; for God lo^keth not 
to he number of the works, but to the measure 
of the love and humility : and therefore it is safest 
for us ever to ove and fear with humility, anU 
never to trust m ourselves for any good thing, 
being always suspicious of the thoughts that arise 
in the mind under the guise of good. 



y. Of holy patience 

suiFer and endure tribulation, through his burning 
love for God, will soon attain unfo high gr.c« 
.nd vu^ues, and will be lord of this world and 
will have an earnest of the glorious world to come 
Every thing that a man doth, be it good or evil 
he doeth it unto himself; wherefor? be not dis- 
quieted against him in that he doth thee wrong 
but rather shouldest thou have humble patence 
and only grieve for his sin, having pity on him' 
and praying God effectually for him*^ The stronLT; 
a man is to suffer and endure injuries and tribu- 
lations patiently for the love of God, the greater 



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268 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

is he in the sight of God, and no more : and the 
weaker a man is in enduring pain and adversity 
for the love of God, the lower is he in the sight 
of God. If any man praiie thee, speaking well of 
thee, give the glory to God alone ; and if any man 
speak ill of thee and revile thee, do thou help him 
by speaking ill of thyself and worse. If thou de- 
sirest to maintain thine own cause, then study ever 
to speak ill of it and maintain that of thy neigh- 
bour, always blaming thyself and always praising 
and makmg sincere excuses for him. When any 
man wishes to contend and to go to law with thee, 
do thou, if thou desirest to win, lose thy case, and 
losmg it thou wilt win ; for if thou dost wish to 
go to law for to win, then when thou thinkest 
thou hast won, thou wilt find that thou hast lost 
most gnevously. Wherefore, my brother, believe 
of a surety that the straight way to salvation is the 
way of loss. But when we do not bear tribulations 
well, then we cannot pursue afte.- the consolations 
of eternity. A much greater consolation is it and 
far more meritorious to endure wrongs and revil- 
ings patiently without murmuring, for the love of 
God, than to feed a hundred poor persons and fast 
every day continuously. But what doth it profit 
a man, or what joy doth it bring him, to despise 
himself and afflict his body with long fasts and 
vigils and scourgings, if he cannot endure a little 
wrong at the hands of his neighbour? For which 
cause shall a man receive much more reward and 
greater merit, than for all the afflictions that he 
may lay on himself of his own will ; for to endure 
revilmgs and injuries from his neighbour in humble 



WM 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 169 

patience without murmuring, purgeth away sin 
much more quickly than a fount of many t«rs 
Blessed is the man that always keeps before the 
^^ ,k u" "'""^ the remembrance of his sin and 
of the blessmgs of God ! for he will endure with 

^^hTu^V *"''">«i°" "d adversity, and there- 
withal he looketh for great consolations. The 
man who is truly humble looks not for any merit 
or reward from God; but studies only how he 
nwy please Him in every way, knowing that he is 
His debtor; and every good thing th« he hath, 
he knoweth that he hath of the goodness of God 
a one and not for any merit of his own; and in 
all advenity, he knoweth that of a s^ret^ it hath 
befallen him for his sins. A certain brother asked 

there should fall some great adversities and tribu- 
lations, what should we do then f " Whereuntn 
w1"m H^"'\" Giles, saying: "My b^The"!? 
would have thee know that ff the Lord were to 
rain down stones and lightning from Heaven, they 
could not hurt us or do us any harm, if we were 
such a, we ought to be; for if man were truly 
what he ought to be, every evil and every tribu- 
lation would be turned into blessings; for we know 
what ««th the Apostle, that all fhing, work t " 
gether for good to them that love God; and so 
likewise to the man of evil will, all good thines 
are turned to evil and to judgment. If thou wilt 
be saved and go to the glory of heaven, thou must 

for the heritage of the Saints is always to do eood 
and always to receive evil. If thou wert truly to 




i 



ayo THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 
recomize how often tnd ho»/ arievouily thou hnt 
pflwided thyCrettor.thouwourdeWundemtnd th«t 
It IS right and just thit all creatures should pene- 
cute thee and work thee pain and tribuUtion for 
tt«e creatures woald be talcing vengeance for the 
^ces thou hast committed against thy Creator. 
A great uid high rirtue is it for a man to overcome 
himself, for he that overcometh himself, will over- 
come all his enemies and will attain unto all good 
A much higher virtue would it be, if a manjrere 
to suftr hunse f to be overcome by all men ; for 
then would he be lord over all hU enemies, to wit 
vica and the devils and the world and his own 
aesh. If thou wUt be saved, renounce and despise 
every consolation that the things of the world or 
mOTtal cTMtures can give tht; ; for more grievous 
*ad more frequent are the falls that come through 
the iirospenty and the consolations that jpritut not 
up through adversities and tribulations/' Once 
on a time a Religious murmured against his Su- 
perior m the presence of Brother Giles, on account 
of a havy obedience that he had laid upon him ■ 
unto whom quoth Brother Giles: "Dearly beloved 
the more thou wilt murmur, the heavier will he^ 
come thy burden and the harder for thee to bear ■ 
tad the more humbly and devoutly thou wilt put 
Ay neck under the jroke of holy obedience, Ae 
lighter and sweeter will this obedience be for thee 
*° IfY-. ,".' ""etJunk* thou art not willin* to be 
reviled m this world for the love of Chrwt, yet 
dott wish to be honoured with Christ in the worM 
to come; thou an not willing to be persecuted 
and cursed m this world for drist's sake, yet in 



S. FRANas OF ASBBI jy, 

the next world dost wUh to be ble««d and received 
by Chrut; thou «t not willing to labour in thii 
world, but would rest and be at peace in the world 
to come. Brother, brother, I «y unto thee that 
thou art gnevoualy deceived ; for it is by the path 
of mi8^ and shame and reproach that man a>.Aeth 
unto true celestul honour; and it is by enduring 
mockmp and cursings patiently for the love of 
tftrist that man cometh unto the glory of Christ. 
Tbmfcn well sa.th a proverb of the world that 

what he would. Right useful is the natui? of the 
hme; for however fast the horse may run, yet he 
sufler. h,m«lf to be ruled, guided, and tu;,^! up 

lJ:!,ST"i ^'=''r?'^» »'«' ^"^•«i». "cording tS 
the will of the nder; and so likewise ought the 
servant of God to do, to wit, he shoulj suffer 
himself to be ruled, guided, bent, and turned 
according to the will of his superior, and likel 
wue of any one else, for the love of God If 
thou wilt be perfect, study diligently to be full 
ot grace and virtue, and fight valiantly against 
vicea, patiently enduring all adversity for the love 
of thy I^, who for love of thee suflered tribu- 
ItS'^rfJlJ'"!!!'' «^''"8».,?courging, crucifixion 
and death, not through His own ftult, nor for 
His own glory, nor for Ms own profit, but solely 
far thy salvation. And to the end that thou 

h!S'tKf^''u"J ^V "^ ""«' '^° "'°'' ♦•!« 
hMdabove all that thou conquer thyself; fa- it 

P^ofiteth a man little to draw and lead souls to 

God, If he doth not first conquer and draw and 

lead himself. 



»72 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 



AY. Of stothfiilnen 

The man that standeth idle loseth this world 
and the next; for he brings forth no fruit in 
himself, and profits not his neighbour. It is im- 
possible for a man to grow in virtue, without 
carefulness and without much labour. When 
thou canst stand in a safe place, stand not in a 
doubtful one : he standeth in a safe place who is 
careful and anxious and works and labours through 
God and for the Lord, and not for fear of punish- 
ment nor for rt^. rd, but for the love of God. 
The man who refuses to toil and labour for the 
love of Christ, refuses in very sooth the glory of 
Christ: and even as carefulness is useful and 
helpful unto us, so is carelessness ever contrary 
to us. Like as laziness is the path that leads to 
hell, even so is holy carefulness the path that leads 
to heaven. Right careful ought a man to be, to 
gain and keep the virtues and the grace of God 
always working with that grare and virtues faith- 
fully ; .'or oftentimes doth it happen to the man 
who works not faithfully, that he loseth the fruit 
for the leaves, or the grain for the straw. To 
one man God freely granteth the good fruit with 
few leaves, and to another He giveth both the 
fruit and the leaves : and some others there be 
that have neither fruit nor leaves. A weightier 
matter doth it seem to be, to know how well to 
guard and keep discreetly the blessings and graces 
the Lord doth give, than to know how to obtain 
them; for, although a ma- know well how to 



t'r';;;' 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 273 

gain them, yet if he know not how to keen and 
guard them well, he will never be rich '^ but 
others gam little by little and so Rrow'rich 

'reiru^^^Mr "^" ''"' g- "nd th^ 
fK Til L "" Sreat a- mass of water would 

™nlw .'"'"J,'""""''' '^ " 'IW not aLlhere 

H:!?"" irj - ^°" -a'ur 1 °e '" 
He that would be loved of God and receive of 

yield rtim endless service. Blessed is the m/n 
thatloveth God with all his hea„ and with a," 
hismmd, and always afflicts his body and mind 
for the love of God, and seeketh no other rew^ 

hetlt^dT" "7/''" ^' -nay recognise ThS 

n:ed aX :ny nl Tnot^ n° '"'-"" ^"" 

to him : .Pi wKd^ra «;"" rcirus'lnJ 

^thin'th'f""."' '!!"' '^y^' »"d W tha ?f 
with n these three days thou make good u« of 

o b^^ri?h'f°" ""'..e"" ^""^'"^ tre!:^":::,^ 

to be rich for ever": now sure is it that thtl 
pc»r man would be right careful lo m ke gj^' 
and diligent use of this thing so preciou,^^ 
much would he study to bring forth e<^'fr"^ 
therefrom To in like mannef do I saf ^at the 
thmg that hath been lent to us by X' hand of 
God, ,s our body the which the good God hath 
lent us for three days ; for all our times and yea„ 
are ,n comparison as three days. Wherefore^ 
thou wouldest be rich and enjo/ the dVvine sw^^- 



m< <■< 



'h 



w 



w^ \ 



274 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

ness to all eternity, then study to make good use, 
and to bring forth good fruit, of this thing that 
the hand of God hath lent, to wit, thy body in 
this space of three days, to wit, in the brief period 
of thy life ; for if thou art not careful to lay up 
store in the present life, whileas thou hast time, 
thou wilt never be able to enjoy those eternal 
riches nor find holy rest in that celestial peace 
for evermore. But if all the possessions in the 
world belonged to one man, who never made use 
of them nor let others make use of them, what 
profit or what gain would he have of these things i 
Of a sooth, he would have no gain or profit at 
all. But it well might be, that a man should 
have few possessions and making good use of 
them find much profit therein, and bring forth 
fruit enough and to spare, both for himself and 
for others. Saith a proverb of the world : Never 
set an empty pot to boil on the fire, in hope that 
your neighbour will fill it. In like manner God 
willeth not that any grace should remain empty ; 
for the good God never giveth grace to any man, 
to the end that he may keep it empty, but rather 
He giveth it, that man may fill it with the fruit 
of good works ; for a good will sufficeth not, if 
a man studies not to follow it, and fill it with the 
fruit of good works. Once on a time a beggar 
said to Brother Giles : " Father, I pray thee give 
me some consolation." Whereat Brother Giles 
replied : " My brother, study to stand well with 
God, and straightway wilt thou have the con- 
solation thou dost need ; for if a man maketh 
not ready within his soul a dwelling-place wherein 



I' ili 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 275 

God may rest and dwell, he will never find shelter 
WhT.^ true consoUtion in ,„y creature.. 
W^en a man wisheth to do evil, he hath never 
need of much counsel, for the doing it; but for 

S^*^.' T^ ""'" '"'' =°"''«'' ""d make 
long delay. Once on a time quoth Brother Giles 

that^,h°'"P*"'°"'^"'^'' ''""''"> ™»eemeth 
that i„ these present days there is found no man 
that .s wUhng to do the things that he seeth to 

for Tu Lr n*" •• "°' ""'y ^°' ^" »°"l but also 
sooth I .^'Jh ^'''^^\'"=> "y brothers, that in very 
sooth I could swear, that the more a r-an doth flei 
and shun the burden and the yoke of Christ the 
more grievous doth he make it to himself, 'and 
the weightier and heavier doth he feel it ; and the 
more eagerly a man taketh it upon him, always 
adding to the weight of his owVfree ^11 the 
hehter doth he feel it and the more sweetTo bT 
Now may ,t please God that men may win and 
gain for themselves in this world the good thines 

the soul ; seeing that the soul and the body, with- 
out doubt, must be Joined together, to suffer for 
ever, or for ever rejoice ; to wit, either to sufler 
pains and torments incalculable for ever and ever 

A„„ 1 °T"1-'*'"8'J' «"J°y w«h the Saints and 
Angels in Paradise, joys and consolations unspeak- 
able, through the merits of good works." A 
certain brother spake thus unto Brother Giles- 
father, meseemeth that we do not yet know 

H?r.l!° "r^"^'' .''*' " 8ood for us." Whereat 
Brother Giles replied : " My brother, certain it 
IS that every man practises the art that he has 



il 



276 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

learnt, for no man can do good work unless he 
hath first learnt: wherefore I would have thee 
know, my brother, that the noblest art in the 
world is to do good work : and who can know 
this, unless he first have learnt itf Blessed is 
the man unto whom no created things can bring 
evil I but more blessed is he who from everything 
that he sets and heara, receiveth good to the 
edifying of himself." 



fll. Of contempt of the world 

"Many sorrows and many woes will that 
wretched man have, who setteth his desire and 
his heart and his hope on earthly things, for 
the which he abandons and loses the things of 
heaven, and at the last will also lose these things 
of earth. The eagle flieth high : but if she had 
a weight tied to her wings, she could no more 
fly high ; so man for the weight of earthly things 
cannot fly high, to wit, cannot attain to perfec- 
tion ; but the wise man, that tieth the weight of 
remembrance of death and of judgment to the 
wings of his heart, cannot by reason of his great 
fear go astray and fly among the vanities and 
the riches of this world, the which are the cause 
of damnation. Every day we see the men of 
the world working and toiling much, and setting 
themselves in great perils of body, for to gain 
these deceitful riches ; and when they have toiled 
and gained much, in one moment will they die 
and will leave behind all that they have gained 






S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 277 

in their life; .nH t'-erefore must we not trust 
in this deceitful wo. ,, the which leadeth astray 
every man th .t beli. ^th therein, sith it is full of 
lies. But whoso desireth and wisheth to be great 
and very rich, let him seek after and lovr the 
riches and the good things that are eternal, the 
which always satisfy the soul and never weary 
It and ntver gro- less. If we do not wish to go 
astray, let us take example from the beasts a^d 
the birds, the which when they are fed, are well 
.ontent, and seek naught save their life from hour 
to hour, as they have need : and so should man 
be content with his bare necessities, with temper- 
ance and without superfluity." Brother Giles said 
that the ants pleased not S. Francis as did the 
other ammals, by reason of the great care they 
took in gathering together and storing up abund- 
ance of gram at the time of summer for the 
winter: but he said that the birds pleased him 
much more, for they never gathered anything 
together on one day for the other. But the 
ant setteth us an example that we should not 
stand idle in the summer time of this present life 
lest we be found empty and without fruit in the 
winter of the last and final judgment. 



i I 



mi. O/Aofy chastity 

Our wretched ..nd weak humai flesh is like the 
pig, that ever delighteth to waKow and befoul 
Itself m the mud; deeming the mud its great 
delight. Our flesh is the devil's knight : S,r it 



M 



878 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

resists and fights against all those things that are 
of God and for our salvation. A certain brother 
asked Brother Giles, saying : " Father, teach me 
m what manner we may be able to keep ourselves 
from carnal sin " ; whereat Brother Giles replied : 
" My brother, he who desireth to move a great 
weight or a large stone to some other place, must 
needs study to move it more by skill than by force. 
So we likewise, if we would conquer carnal sins and 
gain the virtue of chastity, can gun it better by 
humility and by the good and discreet guidance of 
our spirit, than by the presumptuous severity and 
violence of our penances. Every sin troubles and 
bedims holy, resplendent chastity ; for chastity is 
like unto a bright mirror, that is bedimmed and 
ttoubled not only by the touch of filthy things, 
but also by the breath of man. And it is nowise 
possible for a man to attain unto any spiritual 
grace, so long as he is found to be inclined unto 
carnal lusts ; wherefore turn and turn thou where 
thou wilt, thou wilt never find any other means 
whereby to attain unto spiritual grace, save only 
that thou conquer every carnal sin. Wherefore 
faht valiantly against thy weak and sensual flesh, 
that IS thy proper enemy and ever seeketh to gain- 
say thee night and day. Whoso overcometh the 
flesh, our mortal -enemy, let him be sure that he 
hath conquered and discomfited all his enemies, 
and will soon attain unto spiritual grace and 
every good state of virtue and perfection." Quoth 
Brother Giles: "Among all the other virtues 
would I put the virtue of chastity first : for most 
sweet chastity hath in itself some perfectness of 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 279 

itself ilone ; but no other virtue c«n be perfect, 
Ueking chastity." A certain brother asked Brother 
Giles, saying : " Father, is not the virtue of charity 
greater and more excellent than that of chastity ? " 
And Brother Giles said : " Tell me, brother, what 
IS there in the whole world more chaste than holy 
chanty ? " Oftentimes used Brother Giles to sing 
this song, to wit: "O holy chastity. How great 
and good thou art ! Truly precious art thou, and 
thy savour is so sweet, that whoso tastes it not, 
knows not how excellent it is. Wherefore the 
foolish know not thy worth." A certain brother 
asked Brother Giles, saying : " Father, thou that 
so much commendeth the virtue of chastity, I pray 
thee expound to me what manner of thing is 
chastity." Whereat replied Brother Giles : " My 
brother, I tell thee that the name of chastity be- 
longeth properly to the anxious care and constant 
watching of the bodily and spiritual senses, -^re- 
serving them for God alone pure and unstairi '., " 



IX. 0/ temptations 

" The great graces that man receives from God, 
man cannot keep in tranquil peace; for many 
thmM spring up that be contrary and disturbing 
and hostile to these graces, for the more a man is 
pleasing unto God, the more is he assailed and 
assaulted by the devils. Therefore a man should 
never cease to fight, to the end that he may live 
"if 1^ ^' ?"'* received from God ; for the fiercer 
the battle be, the more precious will be the crown. 



! V 



f I 



28o THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

if he gain the victory. If we have not mtny a 
tattle and many a hindrance and many a tempta- 
tion, we should not be such as we ought to be 
m the spiritual life. But true it is that if a man 
1 J *"?*" '"'^ discreetly in the way of God, he 
would find nor toil nor weariness in his journey 
but the man that walketh in the way of the world 
will never be able to escape the many toils, weari- 
riss, anguish, tribulations, and sorrows, even to 
the day of his death." Quoth a certain brother 
unto Brother Giles: "My brother, meseemeth 
that these two sayings are contrary the one to the 
other ; for in the first thou dost say : The more a 
man is virtuous and pleasing unto God, the more 
adversaries hath he and the more battlei in the 
spiritual life; and thereafter thou dost say the 
contrary, to wit : If a man walked aright and dis- 
creetly in the way of God, he would feel nor toU 
nor weariness in his journey." Whereat Brother 
tnles, explaining the opposition between these two 
sayings, answered thus: "My brother, sooth is it 
that the devils assail with fierce temputions those 
that have a good will, more than they do those 
that have not a good will, to wit, after the mind 
of God. But the man that walketh discreetly and 
zealously in the way of God, what toil or weariness 
or hurt could the devils and all the advenities in 
the world bring upon him ? sith he knows and sees 
that he sells his wares for a thousand times more 
than they are worth. But I tell thee yet more 
surely : He that hath been kindled by the fire of 
love divine, the more he were assailed by sins, the 
more would he hate and abhor them. The worst 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 281 

devils .re wont to run and tempt a man, when he 
IS ma sickness or in any bodily weakness or in any 
trouble, or in cold or anguish, or hungered or 
thirsty, or when he hath suffered some wrong or 
shame or temporal or spiritual loss; for these mli- 
cious ones know that in such hours and moments 
a man is more ready to receive temptations. But 
1 tell thee that for every tempution and every sin 
that thou Shalt overcome, thou wilt gain k virtue : 
and by overcoming that vice wherewith thou art 
assailed, thou wilt receive therefor so much the 
greater grace and the more glorious crown." A 
certain brother took counsel of Brother Giles 
saying: "Father, oft-times am I tempted with a 
very sore tempution, and many a time I have 
prayed to God that He would deliver me there- 
from ; yet the Lord hath not delivered me ; eive 
me counsel. Father, what I should do." Where- 
unto replied Brother Giles: "My brother, the 
more nobly a king doth furnish his knights with 
stout and lordly armour, the more stoutly doth 
he wish them to fight against his enemies, for the 
tove of him. A certain brother asked Brother 
GUes, sayina: "Father, what remedy can I find 
80 as to be able to go to prayers with more willing- 
ness and more desire and more fervour? for when 
I go to prayers, I foel hard and slothful and dry 
and indevout. To whom Brother Giles replied 
saying : " A certain king hath two servants i and 
the one hath arms wherewith to fight, but the other 
hath none, and they twain wish to eo into the battle 
and fight against the enemies ofthe king. He 
that IS armed, entereth into the battle and fighteth 






I) II 



If; 



I 'fl 



28i THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

viliantly ; bat the other that h>th no arms, uith 
unto his Lord : ' My Lord, thou seest that I be 
naked without arms ; but for love of thee will I 
gladly go into the battle, and fight all unarmed as 
I am.' Then the good king, bieholding the love 
of his faithful servant, saith unto his attendants : 
' Go with this my servant, and clothe him mth all 
the arms that he needeth for to fight, that with 
safety he may enter into the battle ; and sign all 
his arms with my royal sign, that he may be known 
as my faithfiil knight.' And even so doth it oft- 
times happen to a man when he goes to pray, to 
wit, when he findeth himself to be naked, indevout, 
lazy and hard of soul ; but if he constraineth him- 
self, for the love of God, to enter into the battle 
of prayer : then our kind King and Lord, seeing 
the endeavour of His knight, giveth him by the 
hands of His ministering Angels the devotion and 
the fervour of good will. Another time doth it 
happen that a man will begin some great woric of 
grievous toil, such as to clear and till the ground, 
or a vineyard, so as to nap fruit in season. And 
many by reason of the much toil and many vexa- 
tions grow weary and repent of the work they 
have begun : but if a man constraineth himself 
until the season of fruit, then forgetteth he all his 
weariness and abideth consoled and glad, seeing the 
fruit that he can enjoy. And so a man tlut it 
strong in the hour of temptation, will attain unto 
many consolations ; for after tribulations, saith S. 
Paul, are given consolations and the crowns of life 
eternal : and not only will the reward be given in 
Heaven to those that resist temptations, out also 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 183 

in this life, asuith the Psalmist: Lord, accoidinij 
to the multitude of my temptations and my enefl 
wU Thy consolations make glad my soul ; so that 
the greater the temptation and the battle, the more 
glonous will be the crown." A certain brother 
asked counsel of Brother Giles touching a certain 
temptation, saying: "O Father, I am tempted by 
two most grievous temptations; the one is: so 
soon as I Jo any good thing, straightway am I 
tempted by vain elory ; the other is : so soon as 
I do any evil, I fell into such sadness and such 
melancholy, that I come well-nigh to despair " 
Whereunto replied Brother Giles: " My brother, 
thou dost wisely to bewail thy sin, but I counsel 
thee to mourn discreetly and temperately, and 
always to remember that the mercy of God is 
greater than thy sin. But if the infinite mercy of 
tjod receiveth to repenttnce the man that is a great 
sinner and smneth of his own free will, whenas he 
doth repent, dost thou believe that this good God 
abandoneth the good sinner that sinned not will- 
ingly and now is contrite and penitent ? Likewise 
I counsel thee that thou never cease to do good 
through fear of vam glory ; for if a man when he 
wisheth to sow his grain should say: 'I will not 
sow ; for if I sowed, perchance the birds would 
come and eat it up,' and so saying should not sow 
his seed, sure is it that he would reap no fruit that 
year. But if he sows his seed, albeit the birds eat 
wme of It, yet the greater part the labourer reapi 
So when a man is assailed by vain glory, if so be 
that he doth not good deeds for vain glory's sake 
but stnveth ever against it, I say that he loseth 



■SI 

i 



a84 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

not the merit of the good deeds that he doth, by 
reison of| his being tempted." A brother said 
unto Brother Giles: "Father, it is written that 
S. Bernard on a time repeated the seven Penitential 
i;salms with such peace of mind and such devo- 
tion that he thought of nothing else save only the 
p-oper meaning of the aforesaid psalms." Whereat 
Brother Giles answered thus: "My brother, I 
deem that there is more valour in a lord that 
holds his castle when it is besieged and assaulted 
by his enemies, and defends himself so valiantly 
that he suffers no one of his enemies to find en- 
trance therein, than there is in one that lives at 
peace and suffereth no let." 

X. Of hot) peniunce 

Much ought a man always to afflict and mortify 
his body, and willingly endure all wrong, tribula- 
tion and anguish, sorrow, shame, contempt, re- 
proach, adversity and persecution, for the love of 
our good Lord and Master, Jesu Chriit, who hath 
set us an example in His own self: tor from the 
hrst day of His glorious Nativity until His most 
holy Passion He always endured anguish, tribula- 
tion, sorrow, contempt, trouble and persecution, 
all for our salvation. And therefore, if we would 
come unto a state of grace, we must needs walk 
so far as m us lies, in the footsteps of our good 
Master Jesu Christ. A certain man of the world 
asked Brother Giles, saying: "Father, how can 
we that dwell in the world attain unto a state of 
grace ? ' Whereunto Brother Giles replied : "My 



■V) 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 285 

brother a man must first of all mourn for his 
sins with a contrite heart; then should he confess 
to the pnest with bitterness and sorrow of heart 
accusing himself alone, without concealment or 
excuse; then should he perfectly fulfil the penance 
laid on him by his confessor: and likewise should 
guard against all vice and sin and every occasion 
• '!!!i »"<*,"'","'<'«, should he exercise himself 
in good works of virtue towards God and towanls 
his neighbour; and by so doing will a man come 
unto a state of grace and virtue. Blessed is the 
man that moumeth continually for his sins, always 
bewailing night and day with bitterness of heart 

r^'l R*? '," 'u" ^' ''"'' =°™">itted against 
God I Blrased is the man that hath always &fore 
the eyes of h mind the afflictions, the pains and 
the sorrows of Jesu Christ, and for love of Him 
neither desires nor finds any temporal consolation 
in this bitter and tempestuous world, until he 
cometh to the celestial consolation of eternal life 
wherein all his desires shall be fulfilled with joy!" 

XI. 0/ My prayer 
Prayer is the beginning and the middle and the 

th, t ". !°^ ' P"''" '""•"'"«»> the soul, and 
thereby doth the soul distinguish good from evil 
ilvery man that is a sinner should make this praver 
every day continually, with fervour of heart- to 
wit, should pray humbly to God to give him a 
perfect knowledge of his own wretchedness and of 
his sms and of the loving kindnesses that he hath 
received and still receiveth from the good God 






286 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

But the man that knows not how to pray, how 
can he come unto the knowledge of God i And 
all those that would be saved, if they be folk of 
true mtelligence, must needs be converted in the 
end to holy prayer. Quoth Brother Giles : " If 
there was a man that had a son who had done so 
much evil that he had been condemned to death 
or been banished from the city, of a surety with 
all his might this man would strive both day and 
night and every hour to save the life of this his 
son, or bring him back from banishment, making 
muiy prayers and supplications, and giving gifts 
and presents, as much as he could, both of him- 
self and through others, his friends and relatives. 
Then if a man doth so much for his son, who is 
but mortal ; how much more careful ought a man 
to k, to pray to God and make otheni also pray 
to Him, both good men in this world and His 
Saints in the next, on behalf of his own soul, which 
IS immortal, when it hath been banished from the 
celestul city or hath been damned to death eternal 
for Its many sins ! " Quoth a certain brother unto 
Brother Giles: "Father, meseemeth that much 
ought a man to mourn and be full sorrow- 
ful, when he cannot have grace of devotion in 
■"J P™ye"-" Whereunto replied Brother Giles : 
' My brother, I counsel thee to go gently, gently 
for, if thou hadst a little good wine in a cask, and 
m the cask the lees were still underneath this good 
wine, of a surety thou wouldest not shake or move 
that cask, to the end that the good wine be not 
mixed with the lees ; and so I say : so long as 
prayer be not separated from every sinful and 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI ^s^ 

Oirnal lust, it will not receive divine consolation; 
for the prayer that is mixed with the lees of fleshly 
lust IS not clear in the sight of God. Wherefore 
should a man strive, as far as he may, to free him- 
self from all the lees of sinful lust; to the end 
that his prayer may be pure in the sight of God. 
and he may thereby receive divine dlvotion and 
consolation. A certain brother asked Brother 
Giles, saying : "Father, how comes it that when 
a man is praying to God, he is much more tempted, 
•Mailed and tormented than at any other time?" 
Wftereat Brother Giles answered thus ■ " When a 
man pleadeth his cause before the judge, and goeth 
tor to tell his reasons to the judge, as it were ask- 
ing of him advice and help : whenas his adversary 
IS ware of it, he straightway appeareth to oppose 
and to resist the plea of the other, and hindeWth 
him sore, as it were gainsaying his every word; 
and so likewise doth it befall, when a man goeth 
to pray, «kmg God to help his cause; and then 
doth straightway appear his adversary, the devU. 
with his temptations, for to resist him sore and 
to gainsay him and to put forth all his strength 
and art and subtility, to hinder his prayer, so that 

rlT^V r^ "°' •* ""Pt'We in the sight of 
tFOd, and the man gain no merit from the prayer 
nor any consolation. And this may we see quite 
clearly; for when we speak of woridly thin«, at 
that tmie we suffer no temptation nor distraction 
of mind, but if we go to prayer, to gladden and 
comfort the soul with God, straightway shall we 
feel the mind pierced with divers arrows, to wit 
with divers temptations, which the devils shoot 



288 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

at us for to make our minds confused, so that 
the loul may have no delight or consolation in its 
converse with God." Brother Giles said that a 
man in prayer should do as doth a good knight 
in the battle; who albeit he be pierced or wounded 
by his enemy, doth not therefore straightway leave 
the battle, but resisteth manfully so as to gain the 
victory over his enemy, to the end that having 
gained the victory, he may rejoice in his glory and 
find comfort therein : but if he were to leave the 
battle, so soon as he were stricken or wounded, of 
a sooth would he be put to confusion and shame 
and dishonour. So likewise ought we to do ; to 
wit, not cease from prayer for every temptation, 
but bravely resist; for blessed is the man that 
endureth temptation, as saith the Apostle; for 
overcoming, he shall receive the crown of life 
eternal : but if a man by reason of temptations 
ceaseth from prayer, of a surety will he be con- 
founded, defeated and discomfited by his enemy, 
the devil. A certain brother said to Brother 
Giles: "Father, I have seen certain men, that 
have received of God the gift of devotion and of 
tears at the time of prayer, but I cannot feel any 
of these graces, when I pray to God." Whereunto 
replied Brother Giles: "My brother, I counsel thee 
to labour humbly and faithfully in thy prayer ; for 
the fruits of the earth cannot be had without toil 
and without labour first being spent thereon ; and 
even after this labour, the desired fruit doth not 
come at once, before its due season hath arrived : 
even so God giveth not these graces unto a man 
in prayer at once, before the fitting time hath 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 289 

com^ .nd before his mind is purged from everv 
Ubour humbly w prayer; for God. who i, .||-aood 

b^t.^h""'";^''"-'"'* •"'* ''■ ■■'"'"'' »" things 
best when the time and the ^ason is comeT 
Hm loving kindness He will give thee much frui\ of 

G°^ ; W . H"°'\"^rV »■'' >'"'° B™"her 
rf~r;K ^'"''*°"t'>°" do, Brother Giles? what 

"?doth"«°K?l°-''"-?Ji'''" A-xl J-^^pli"! 
Idothatwhich,sev.l"; and the brother said: 

turned f ^r k''°1'*° ' '^ '^^"' »™"'" G"« 
turned t >therbrotherandsaid unto him- "Tell 
me, my brotner, who, thinkest thou, is the readier 

^"e^r Atd?.«nr' 1.' "'' s""' -- 'o "- 

a^e itf And that brother replied : "Of a suretv 

to receive Then quoth Brother Giles : "Do we 
then do what is good ? " And that brother s^id 

hi» '^^ r ''u° T'- ^«" ^^'h" Giles turneci 
him unto the first .-other, and said: "Behold 

and how true is the answer that 1 gave, to wit 
that I do evil." Quoth Brother Giles :'"Mr; 
works are praised and lauded in the Holy ScriZ 

works , but our Lord speaking of prayer saiH 
^: The heavenly Fath^ see/eth merthat wm 
worship Him on earth in spirit and in truth" 

are like wolves; for they seldom go abrwd in 
the sight of men, save only in great necessity, bit 
straightway they study how to return to their 
own secret place without lingering or continuing 

T 



f' 



190 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

tmong men. Good works are the ornament of 
the soul." A ceruin brother, a companion and 
familiar friend of Brother Gile^ said unto him : 
" Father, but wherefore dost thou not sometimes 
go to speak of the things of God, and teach and 
care for the salvation of the souls of Christian 
folk?" Whereat replied Brother Giles: "My 
hfother, I would fain satisfy my neighbour with 
humility, and without loss to my soul, to wit, with 
prayer." And that brother said : "At least thou 
shouldest sometimes go to visit thy kinsfolk." 
And Brother Giles replied : " Knowest thou not 
what the Lord saith in the Gospel: Every one 
that hath forsaken father and mother, brothers, 
sisters, lands, for My name's sake, shall receive 
an hundredfold ? " Then he said : " A nobleman 
entered the Order, whose riches were worth well- 
nigh sixty thousand pounds : therefore great gifts 
await those that for the love of God leave large 
Mssessions, sith God giveth a hundredfold more. 
But we who are blind, when we see a man of virtue 
and grace in the aght of God, cannot comprehend 
his perfectness, by reason of our own imperfection 
and blindness. But if a man were truly spiritual, 
scarcely ever would he wish to hear or see any one,' 
fav'; only in great need : for the truly spiritual 
r M desires to he united to God through con- 
templation." Quoth Brother Giles to a certain 
brother: "Father, gladly would I know what 
is contemplation." And that brother replied : 
" Father, I do not yet know." Then sud Brother 
Giles : " Meseemeth that the grade of contempla- 
tion is a heavenly fire and a swett devotion of the 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 291 

Holy Spirit, «id , npture and uplifting of the 
mmd .ntoxicted :n the contempUtion oftht un- 
•peakible savour of the divine sweetness, and a 
happy, peaceful and swee^ delight of «)ul, that is 

tZri i;*'*'^'''',!? «■■"" """«' " «»>« glorious 

ofTtliTr?"'"' »■"». burningsenJIwithin 
ot that celestul glory unspeakable." 



XU. Of holy spiritual prudence 

-.°m'''°", ""'?' °^ '*"= ''"^"'y king, that 
wouldest learn the mysteries and the pifitable 
and virtuous prudence of holy spiritual teaching, 
open well the ears of the mind of thy soul, and 
receive w«h the desire of thy heart, and carefuSy 
keep m the chamber of thy memory, the precious 
treasure of these spiritual doctrines and ilmoni- 
tions and counse s tnat I declare to thee • by the 
which thou shall be enlightened and directed in 
Ay way to w.t, the w,y of spiritual life, and halt 
be defended from the evil and cunning assiu.ts of 
^y bodily and ghostly enemies, .r.d with humble 
boldness shall ko safely travelling thrrugh the 
stormy sea of tjus present life, until at last thou 
Shalt come to the longed-for harbour of salvation 
Therefore, my son, take good heed and hearken 
unto my words: If thou%ouldest see we I Jut 
ou :hme eyes and be blind ; if thou wouldest hear 
we 1, become deaf; and if thou wouldest speak 
we , become dumb; and if thou wouldest SSk 
well stand firm and walk with thy mind ; if thou 
wouldest work well, cut off thy hands and work 



i 



(! 



agi THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

with thy heart ; and if thou wouldest love well, 
then hate thyself; and if thou wouldest earn 
and be rich, then lose and be poor; and if thou 
wouldest be glad and at peace, afflict thyself and 
stand always in fear and trust not thyself; if 
thou wouldest be exalted and have great honour, 
humble thyself and put thyself to shame ; if thou 
wouldest be held in high reverence, despise thy- 
self, and do reverence to those that do thee despite 
and dishonour ; if thou wouldest always enjoy the 
good, always endutt evil ; if thou wouldest be 
blessed, desire that all men should curse and speak 
ill of thee ; and if thou wouldest have true rest for 
evermore, labour and afflict thyself and desire all 
manner of temporal woe. O how great wisdom 
IS It to know how to do and bring these things to 
^ss ! but sith these things be very high and lofty, 
God granteth them but unto few. But of a sooth 
whoso studieth well all the things aforesaid and 
bnngeth them to effect, would have no need to 
go to Bologna or to Paris, for to learn any other 
theology ; for though a man were to live a thou- 
sand years and had nothing to do with his hands 
and nothing to say with his tongue ; yet would he 
have enough to do in striving in his heart within, 
working for the purifying and guidance and justify- 
ing of his mind and of his soul. A man should 
not wish to see or hear or say aught save what is 
profitable to his soul. A man that knoweth not 
himself, is not known. Wherefore woe unto us, 
when we receive gifts and graces from the Lord 
and know them not : but woe, woe to them that 
receive them not nor know them, nor yet strive 






S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 293 

to win and gain them. Man i, made in the imaee 

the a^ rlf' ^ '^'l'' '° '*«'' »>« change. b« 
the good God changeth never. 

XIIL OfpnfitabU and unprofitable knowledge 

A man that would know much, must strive 
much and humble himself much, aCng hiS 

?hen J?,?«rT •" ''!^ "" ''^ ""'•• theVound 
wiSom S r. '"'".""'\knowl4e and 
r,^ J u**"!" '"'^°'" « always to do 

guardmg oneself well f?om every sin and from 
eve^ occa„on of sinning, and always to think on 
the judgments of God. On a time quoth Brother 
Gdes to one that would go to the schools for to 
gam knowledge: "My brother, wherefore dost 
thou wish to go to the schools? fori would have 
thee know that the urn of all knowledge is to 

for th,^ T """^ "'T '^° "-'"SS are sufficient 
for thee: for so much wisdom is needful for « 

Vex not thyself much to study for the profit of 

!^"'m'" •'"•>" ""<*y '° '•o "« things\hat he 
profitable to thyself; for oftentimes dith it be! 
fall that we wish to gam much knowledge for to 
help other, and little for to help our«lve,: and I 
say unto thee that the word of 6od is not for him 

him that worketh m truth. Some men ;ho can- 

and It befalleth that they are all /rowned to|ether 



u 



i 



»94 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

If thou dost not take thought for the salvation 
of thine own soul, how wilt thou take thought 
for that of thy neighbr rs? and if thou dost not 
do thine own work v , how wilt thou do the 
work of another well ; for it cannot be believed 
that thou lovest the soul of another more than 
thine own. The preacher of the word of God 
should be a banner and a candle and a mirror to 
the pcof's. Blessed is the man who in this wise 
guideth others on the way of salvation, and ceaseth 
not himself to go on the right path ! Blessed is 
the man who in this wise calleth upon others to 
run, and ceaseth not to run himself! More 
blessed is he who in this wise helpeth others to 
make gain and become rich and ceaseth not to 
enrich himself. I ween that the good preacher 
admonisheth and preacheth to himself more than 
he doth to others. Meseemeth that the man that 
would convert and lead the soul of sinners to the 
path of God, should always be fearful lest he be 
vilely led astray by them, and drawn into the 
path of sin and of the devil and of hell. 



X/y. Of goed ana evil speaking 

The man that speaketh good words and profit- 
able to souls is of very sooth as it were the mouth 
of the Holy Spirit ; and likewise the man that 
speaketh evil words and unprofitable, is without 
doubt the mouth of the devil When at any 
time good, spiritually-minded men oe gathered 
together to have speech of one another, they 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 29J 

should always speak of the beauty of holiness, to 
the end that holiness might please them more and 
they take the more delight therein ; for takine 
pleasure and delight in virtue, they would the 
more strive therein, and striving therein would 
come to the greater love thereof; and through 
this love and theu- continual striving and delight 
in virtue, they would always rise up unto a more 
fervent love of God and a higher state of soul ■ 
for the which cause would the Lord grant them 
more graces and more gifts divine. The more 
a man is tempted, the more doth he need to speak 
of the holy virtues: for like as oft-times through 
evil talk of sins, men lightly fall into sinful deeds • 
so oft-times through discourse of virtue, are men 
lightly led and inclined to the holy deeds of virtue 
But what shall we say of the good that cometh 
forth from virtue ? for it is so great and high, 
that we cannot speak worthily of its high excel- 
lence, so marvellous and so infinite. And likewise 
what shall we say of the evil and of th : .-ternal 
pain that cometh forth from sin i" For it is so 
great an evil and so deep an abyss, that it passeth 
all thought and comprehension and all possibility 
of speech. I deem it no less a virtue to know 
how well to keep silence than to know how well 
to speak : and therefore methinketh that a man 
ought to have a long neck like a crane, so that 
when a man wish ;d to speak, his words would 
pass through mary joints before they reached his 
mouth ; that is to say, when a man wished to 
speak, he would need to think and think again 
and examine and discern right well both the how 



f' 



I 



296 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 
and the why and the time and the manner and 
condition of his hearers, and the effect on himself, 
and the intention that prompted him. 



^^- '^f good perseverance 
What profit is it to a man to fast much and to 
pray and give alms and afflict himself with M, 
thoughts fixed on heavenly things, if he attai , 
not to the blessed haven of salvation he loneeth 
for, to wit, the haven of good and firm persever- 
ance? Sometimes doth it befall that on the sea 
appeareth a ship very beautiful and great and 
strong and new and full of much riches; and it 

.h?r!; f**;' ^y,«»«'" °f a storm or through 
the fau t of the helmsman, that ship doth perilh 
n!if r.. 1 » ™i«"bly drowned and cometh 
not o the longed-for haven. Then of what profit 
IS all Its beauty and excellence and riches, slth it 
perisheth so miserably in the watere of the sea? 
And likewise sometimes doth there appear upon 
the sea a little ship and old and wi^ scanty 
merchandise; and having a good helmsman and 
discreet It escapes from dangers, and comes safe 
out of the deep waters of the sea and reaches the 
longed-for haven ; and so doth it happen to men 
in the stormy sea of this world. Wherefore quoth 
Brother Giles : A man should at all times fear • 
and albeit he be in great prosperity or in ereat 
honour or in great perfectness, yet if he liave 
not a good helmsman, to wit, discreet government 
of himself, he may perchance miserably perish in 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 237 

the deep sea of sin : and therefor, for well-doine 
there is need most of all of perseverance as s»itE 
the Apostle : Not he that be^innetrbm he that 

Whe'nT^"'"-''' """'■ '"'' "»- '•" "°w" 
When a tree springs up. it does not become great 

td^r'^^u •?" """ " •'" become ieat 
It does not therefore at once yield fruir? ^J 

when it doth bear fruit, it will not all comedo 

spoiled and be eaten by tie beasts of the field • 
but if ,t endureth until its due season the an-lfj; 
ZtLl'- 'r •""' Vathererb;'tt'=fo'5'" 

kingdom of Heaven for a hundredy^r, and dM 
not contmue therein so that at the'u I came 
not to a good end?" And also he said ■ " I 

gifts of God that a man can attain to in this life 
^t to persevere with love in the se^ice of 

Xfl. Of the true religious life 

Quoth Brother Giles, speaking of himself- "I 
would rather have a little of tfe g«cT of God 
as a Religious m the Order, than have many of 
the graces of God while living i„ the world 
for in the world there be many Lre dangeTs and 
hmd^nces, and much less healing remfdy and 
help than m the religious life." Likewise ..id 



298 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

Brother Giles : " Meseemeth that the sinner is 
more afraid of his own good than of his loss and 
hurt : for he is afraid to enter into the religious 
life to do penance, but is not afraid to offend God 
and hu-m his soul by staying in the hard and stifF- 
nected world and in the noisome mire J his sins, 
awaiting his eternal damnation at the last." A 
man of the world asked Brother Giles, saying : 
"Father, what dost thou counsel me to do? to 
enter into the religious life, or to stay in the 
wo. -Id doing good works ? " Whereunto Brother 
Giles made answer : " My brother, certain is it 
that if some needy wretch came to know that a 
great treasure lay hid in a piece of common land, 
he would not take counsel of any man, for to 
learn whether it would be well for him to dig it up 
and hide it in his house ; how much more ought a 
man to make speed and haste with all care and 
zeal to dig up the heavenly treasure that is found 
in the holy orders and spiritual communities, 
without seeking such counsel ! " A nd that man of 
the world, hearing this answer, straightway gave 
all that he had to the poor, and stripped of every 
thing at once entered into the Order. Quoth 
Brother Giles : " Many men enter into the religious 
life, and do not put into effect and operation the 
things that appertain to the perfect state of holy 
religion ; but such men are like unto the cow-herd 
that arrayed himself in the arms of Roland and 
knew not either how to fight or tilt therewith. 
Not every man knoweth how to ride a restive 
and a vicious horse ; and if nathless he mount 
him thereon, he cannot perchance keep himself 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 



»99 



ftDm_ falling, when the horse begint to run «nd 
rear. Again quoth Brother Giles: "I deem it 
no great matter that a man should know how to 
hnd entrance to the court of the king ; nor do I 
deem it a great matter for him to know how to 
gain some favours or kindnesses from the kine ; 
but the great thing is that he know how to stand 
well and to live in the king's court, guiding his 
ways with discretion as is meet. The court of 
the great King of heaven is the holy religious life, 
wherem it is not hard to enter and gain some 
gifts and graces from God ; but the great thing 
18 that a man know how well to live and to con- 
ftiiue therein with discretion until his death " 
Quoth Brother Giles: "I would rather live in 
the world always hoping and devoutly desiring to 
enter the religious life, than wear the habit in the 
Order, without any practice of virtuous deeds 
contmuing in sloth and idleness. Therefore ought 
the religious man always to strive to live a good 
and virtuous life, knowing that he cannot live in 
any other state than the one he hath professed." 
Once on a time Brother Giles said : " Meseemeth 
that the Order of the Friars Minor has in very 
sooth been sent by God for the profit and the 
abundant edifymg of the people ; but woe unto 
us toothers if we be not such men as we ought 
to be! Of a surety there could not be found 
in this life any men more blessed than we : for 
he IS holy that followeth the holy one, and he 
u truly good that goeth on the path of good, 
and he IS rich that walketh in the footsteps of 
the nch; and the Order of the Friars Minor 



300 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 
more than any other Order, followeth the foot- 
steps of the best and the richest and the holiest 

I^^° T ';:">" °' <^» will he, to wit, our 
Lord Jesu Christ. 



Xm. Of holy obedience 

vI^\tT^'' » ^»'«'°»' i» •"■ought under the 
yoke of holy obedience through the love of God 
the more fruit will he give of himself to God : the 

"tfa^X '"•>'" r° "' ^"P«"°'' ^°' '1" honour 
It.,, T' ["/. •""* P"« ''" 1"= 1« from 
sm. The truly obedient Religious is like unto 
the well-armed and well-horsed knight, that with- 
out fear breaks safely through the ranks of his 
enemies, because none of them can hurt him. But 
he that obeys with murmuring and perforce, is like 
unto the unarmed and ill-horsed knight; wh;"nt„! 
ing into the battle, will be hurled to the groutd 
by his enemies, and smitten by them and taken 
prisoner, and sometimes cast into prison and slain. 
1 he Religious who wishes to live according to the 
>ice of his own will, shows that he wShes to 



choice „. „„ „„„ „u,_ sno^j ^^^ ^^ ^j^j^^^ ^^ 
^^1. wr"'l"'"S habitation in the depths of 

„1 .y^ u ^\°\ P""""* '''' ""k under the 
yoke, then he tilleth the ground well, so that it 
brings forth good fruit in its season, but when 
the ox wanders at will, the ground remains untiUed 
and wild and giyeth not its fruit in due season. 
And so the Religious that boweth his head beneath 
the yoke of obedience, giveth much fruit to the 
i^rd God in due season : but he that is not 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 30, 

obedient to his Superior with t good heirt re- 
muneth Urren .„d wild .„d ^thlutfM hU 

riXwillr.""' H^'-r'^'* "- •-' 'f^el head 
right wilhngly under the yoke of holy obedient 
without fear or doubting, but foolish .Lc^'^y 

tryoKhotr^H- '"".^ ""'^ ^-'" -^i^ 

tne yoke of holy obedience and are not willLic to 
be subject unto any creature. I deem it hXr 
perfectness in the servant of God, mer" ; to ft 
h« Supenor through reverence and love for God 
than to obey God directly, should God l« HU 
commands upon him; for whoso is obSienf"," 
a vic^ of the U>rd, would of a surety be sti"l more 

of Mm '"I*!' ^"* "'™r'^' if h'^'ere biSn 
of Him. Also meseemeth that if a man had 
promised obedience unto another, and hTd the 

fhll'Jl ''^'"' "'L*? ^"?*''' ^"'"' "hould ha^ 
11^ I, t-""' 'P""""? *"'> the Angels, he were 
called by him to whom he had promisll 0^1^'* 

with Ta' T'' ri.8''*'"'> '" '~-« hTs^cch 
f^ttt^^'^" "P'J »''°'"J '«"> to do obedience 
for the honour of God. He that hath set his 
neck beneath the yoke of holy obedience and 
then wishes to withdraw his neck from under 
that obedience, through desire to follow . Hfe of 
grater perfectness, I say that if he be not fir^ 
truly perfect in the state of obedience, then tU a 

» I Z^ OJ^dience is the road that leadeth unto 
M good and to all virtue; and disobedience is 
the road to all evil and sin. 



'"«'«■' 



B^ 






302 THE UTTLE FLOWERS OF 

Xyil. Of the remembrance of death 

If a man had always before the eyes of his mind 
the remembrance of death, and of the last judg- 
ment, and of the pains and torments of the 
damned, sure is it that nevermore would desire of 
sin or of offending against God assail him. But 
if It were possible for a man to have lived from 
the beginning of the world even until now, and in 
all that time have suffered all manner of adversity 
tnbulation, pains, afflictions and griefs: and to 
have died, and for his soul to have come to receive 
eternal joy in heaven ; then what harm would all 
the evil he had endured in the past time be unto 
him ? And so likewise : if a man had had, through 
all the time aforesaid, every good thing, all the cfe- 
lights, pleasures and consolations in the world 
and then, at his death, his soul were to receive 
the eternal pains of hell ; what joy would he 
have of all the good he had received in the time 
past? Quoth a beggar unto Brother Giles: "I 
tell thee that right gladly would I live long in this 
world, and have great riches and abundance of all 
things, and be much honoured of men." Where- 
unto Brother Giles said: "My brother, if thou 
wert lord of all the world, and could live therein 
a thousand years in all temporal joys, delights 
pleasures, and consolations, pray tell me what re- 
ward and what merit thou wouldest hope to gain 
from this miserable flesh, the which thou fain 
wouldest serve and please ? But I tell thee that 
the man who leadeth a good life after the mind 



FRANCIS OF ASSISI 303 

of Go.:, ^nd guaH«!^ .imself from offending God, 
will SI .el- receive , God the highest blrasings 
»nd an .nmite rtwa: i for ever, and great abund- 
ance ana peav ..cV?s and great honour and long 
hfe eternally in the everlasting glory of heaven • 
unto which may the good God bring us, our 
l.ord and Kmg Jesu Christ : to the glory of the 
Mme Jesu Christ and of His poor little one 
Francis. ' 




FROM THE MANUSCRIPT IN THE 
BIBLIOTHECA ANGELICA 



/. Hmith, ghricu, Francis g,t the Church ,f 
b. Mary of the Angtl, mihmt Ami 

The glorious father Francis, seeing that the Lord 
God willed to increase and multiply the number 
of his brothers began to speak, and said : " Most 
dear my little brothers and sons in Christ Tesu, 
our blessed Lord willeth to multiply this ou^ 
poor httle company. Wherefore it meseemeth it 
would b. well that we should ask for a church 
from my lord the bishop, or from the canons of 
S. Kuffino, or else from the abbot of S. Benedict 
together with a little house of mud and clav or 
of osiers and lime, to the end that the brothers 
may take rest there and do whatsoe'er be needful 
tor them, and give thanks unto our Lord God and 
say the office, and devoutly mourn over our sins and 
pray to God for sinners. And likewise that we may 
pray and chasten this our flesh, and do some eood 
for the salvation of souls, and please God thereby 
with the increasing of this our company. In this 
place we are not in good case, nor doth it seem 
to me fitting, sith the place that is called Rivo 
Torto IS small, and the brothers cannot turn 

304 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 30J 

themselves, and we have no church wherein we 
may say the office and give praise to God and 
His most holy Mother, to whom we ever pray that 
she may be our advocate. And so I command all 
my brothers the which are or shall be in time to 
come, that they ought always to honour and 
magnify her in every manner and way that may 
be possible unto them, and have her in utmost 
devotion and reverence. Also I desire that we 
be always her faithful servitors. And if we were 
to pass away from this present life, how should 
we bury the dead .' or take the sacraments of our 
holy Church ? for the which cause, my little 
brothers most beloved, how seemeth it good to 
you to deal with this our case set forth to you ' " 
Straightway the brothers having heard the glorious 
l-rancis, said : " Let it be done even as it pleaseth 
thee ; rendering thanks to God for all that He 
gave them. Then the blessed Francis arose with 
some of his companions and went to the Bishop 
of the city of Assisi. and spake to him the words 
that he had spoken to the brothers: to the which 
straightway the Bishop made answer that he had 
not any church to give away. Whereby S. Francis 
understanding that he had the good will of the 
Bishop, asked of him his blessing, and went his 
way to the lord canons of S. Ruffino, and spake 
to them the words aforesaid, who proudly makine 
answer bespake him: " Go in peace, for we wisfi 
not that thou shouldest have or church or any 
place; so go and serve the hospitals, wherein are 
sick folk in great number." S. Francis departinir 
from the canons, went straightway to the abbot 



306 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 

of S. Benedict of Monte Subasio, who, seeing S 
Francis so mortified, felt great devotion for K\m 
and knowing that he had left such vast possessions 
for to serve God, began to weep for compassion 
and devotion's sake. Thereafter the abbot asked 
mm w-hat It was he went seeking, whereunto the 
blessed Francis answered that he had been to the 
Bishop and the lord canons to get him a church 
and had not been able to come by one. "For 
the which cause we pray you that you be pleased 
to grant us one, to the end that we maf serve 
?Sa '.■:*". '•"""■■ty-" Hearing this the abbot 
said: "Wait here, my little brothers; for that I 
will summon the chapter for this matter, and 
thereafter will give you answer." Hearing the 
which words, the blessed Francis prayed unto God 
t^ether with his brothers that He would accom- 
plish their desire. The chapter being gathered 
together, the abbot set forth unto the monks the 
petition of the servant of God, and besought 
them to grant him that ruined church which was 

Jrh , A •'?' "U^" ^"Sels, about two miles 
without Assisi. The monks hearing the which 
matter, and understanding the sanctity of the 
blessed Francis, spake all with many tears unto 
the abbot: "Father, do whatsoever is pleasing 
unto thee; sith we are content with this con! 
dition, that if Gpd should multiply this Order 
S. l-rancis should promise that this church be 
always called the head of his Order and be always 
above all others " The chapter being finished, 
the abbot called S. Francis, and after many word^ 
granted to him the church of S. Mary of the 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 307 

Angels of the Portiuncola, the which was poorer 
than any m the land of Assisi, and told him the 
wish of the monks, to wit, that they desired that 
that church should be the head of all the others, 
trancis bemg right joyous at this matter, pro- 
mised them the things aforesaid. And sith that 
church was called S. Mary of the Portiuncola, as 
was said above, whereof the name is exceeding old 
the blessed Francis said: "Thereby God willed 
not that any church should first ' - granted to the 
Brothers Minor, nor that they ... Id build one 
anew, to the end that at their coming the prophecy 
might be fulfilled, that they shoulS be poor and 
under the name of the Queen of Heaven " 



//. Ho'j; S. Francis had a vision in S. Mary of 
the Angels 

Having taken leave of the abbot, the blessed 
Francis said unto Brother Masseo of Marignano ■ 
Let us go together to see this place which the 
abbot hath now given unto us." And when they 
were come thither, they saw around the church 
niany nettles and thorns, and in front thereof was 
the trunk of a fig-tree neath the which S. Francis 
rested himself a while and began to sleep. Thereon 
as he seemed to stand in prayer to him appeared 

..x^i^V"''. "" '^°""^'" »"'! spake unto him: 
My Francis, the land that is over sea to wit 
Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and all those 
countries of the holy land wherein I was born 
the which are the heritage of my Mother —it iJ 



3o8 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 
long time since that the Saracens possess and hold 
It for the sins of the wicked Christians. And sith 
>t IS just that she should have her heritage, I 
desm: that thou rebuild this house and hav^c^d 

T.n^.l°f 'iV."^ ■''" f'' ^°'^" ^ honoured 
L .. 't*^' Chnstians by means of your good 
offices." This heard. S. Fmncis had '^^xceed!^ 
great consolation therein. And returning unto 
himself again forthwith he called Brother Masseo 

Ih.^'m V ^l" '• .*^ ""^ ^"^ by thereto,' 
and told him that vision with great joy, at the 
which Brother Masseo marvelled mucH There! 
after quoth the blessed Francis: "Go quickly 
unto our brothers, and tell them that we should 
abide in this place by commandment of God and 

bL^'" m°"'" "" "^''g'" '^"y-" This said, 
Brother Masseo was away and told all to the 
brothers at the which they being right glad de- 
parted thence and hied them wi?h all thiir little 
things to the place where was the glorious Francis, 
even as their father had bidden them. Bother 
Marino V.^ this apparition unto Brother 
Manno, his nephew. And next thereafter Marino 
told it^ven as >t hath been written. The brother, 
m S. Mary of the Angels began straightway to 
increase and multiply in numSers, and^the fUe 
of them spread through all the city and throuRh 
the country of .he valley of Spoleto. And C 
holding the sanctity of these brothers, the folk 
t°„ ! k'-u "l*'' ^8»n to well intreat them and 
to rebuild the church in such fashion that the 
brothers were in right good case therein. And 
albeit the abbot had given this place freely to 



-m :'M^^ 




'V^wmmm^rMhd 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 309 

the blessed Francis without any lavm™^ 

brothers might not be able to have anythL of 
the,r own which was not subject to othe™ A„H 

t^the I'r 'T "'""S"' '"- '"ings "foret d 
to the monks, they would aWe th,nf k™ j j 

wine and likewise oil. so thaf Tf i„ thl, ?' """^ 

tester tr«BE?5 

///. flba, Cd' r«,„/^d' uHto S. Francis th^t h. 
As the blessed Francis was one nieht in S 



jm^i^i 



310 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 
I have just now let build a church to the honour 
of the glonous V.rgm Mary here in the plain of 
ASS.S,. I pray your Holiness to deign J,n Dei 
to grant a plenary indulgence without any offer- 
ing. Hearing this the Pope replied :" This 
may not be. for whoso asketh for an indulgence 

7 merit 7?'. "' ^^ """'''"g °"' 'he land 
^,.T ' f '*?'"e ^l"'^- Nathless for how 
many years dost thou desire this indulgence?" 

&H R t '"""'"• °^ ^°^' Francis: '-Most 
blessed Father, may it please your Holiness not 
to give me years but souls." And the Pope 

oespake him : I desire, if it please you that 
whos^ver shall come to this church, confessed 

fai J 'u *"■ "^^^"^ ^'°'" =•" his sins, from 
from ^h .chastisement, in heaven and on earth. 

J.T,l\^^ °^ ^'^ ^T''"" ^^=" ""'0 the da; 
the Jm k°"^'" '^^ "^''^ he shall come into 
the said church." Then said the Holy Father- 

pLF'^' T"'" ■' '^'" 'hat thou hast asked; 
Francis, and it is not the use in the Court of 
Kome to grant such indulgence." Replied the 
blessed Francis : "What I alk. I ask not^ of mt- 
self, but on behalf of Him that hath sert me 
to wit. our Lord Jesu Christ." Thereat the Pow 
mspired of God. spake forthwith and slid "Ti 
IS our pleasure that thou have it." Hearing this 
the cardinals that were there present said : '.Look 
to It, Holy Father, if you give such an indulgence 
unto him, you spoil that over-sea."- And he 

c,^j£. ^° ""' *'"' °"' "'■ "^^ ''^""'"""^ to embark on a 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 3:, 

answered : " We have given and granted it, 
therefore we will not and cannot undo what has 
been done, but let us moderate it, that it may 
suffice for only one natural day in every year." 
And then he called the blessed Francis and said 
unto him : "Ere this we granted that whosoever 
shall come and enter into the said church well 
confessed and contrite shall be absolved from 
fault and chastisement. And this is our will 
that It hold good once every year for ever for 
one natural day only, to wit, from vespers on the 
hrst day of August including the night, up to 
vespers of the day following." Having obtained 
this indulgence, S. Francis bent his head unto 
the hope by way of thanksgiving and to take 

,r*J ■ ^^^ ""'y ^""^^^ s«'"g him depart 
called him saying: "O simpleton, where goest 
thou? What dost thou take with thee of this 
indulgence.?" ^uoth the blessed Francis: 

Your word sufficeth for me. And if this is 
the working of God He will show forth His work 
And of this matter I desire no other privilege 
save that the Virgin Mary may be the scroll, 
Christ the notary, and the Angels the witnesses." 
And so said he departed from Perugia and turned 
his steps towards Assisi. In the middle of the 
way, as he rested awhile, he and his companion 
m a house that was there, and is still an abode of 
lepers, he slept, and waking, after prayer, called 
his companion and said : " Brother Masseo, I tell 
thee in the name of God that the pardon which 
the Supreme Pontiff has given on earth has been 
confirmed ir. heaven." And this was told by 



n\ 



lUi—aiHiili.- wsmi 



m^i^M^. 



312 S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 

Brother Marino nephew of the said Brother 
Ma^o, who oft-times heard it from the lip, 
of h,s uncle The aforesaid Brother Marino 

F«Med from this present life in 1308, full of year, 
and of sanctity. Amen. ^ 



. \ 



FROM A MANUSCRIPT IN FLORENCE 



/. Hmi S. Francis appeared unis Brathir Lea 

On a time, when S. Francis had already passed 
away from this life, there came unto Brother Leo 
a longing to see that sweet father whom in life 
he had loved so tenderly, and through this 
longing he strove beyond his wont to afflict his 
body with prayer and fastings, and besought God 
with great fervour, to fulfil his desire. While 
he was thus kindled in that prayer, S. Francis 
appeared unto him all glorious with wings and 
with claws of gold upon his hands and feet, like 
an eagle. And Brother Leo being all refreshed 
and consoled with this so marvellous an appari- 
tion, said wondering : " Wherefore, my Father 
most worshipful, hast thou appeared unto me 
in a form so marvellous .' " Replied S. Francis : 
"Among the other graces that the divine pity 
hath given and granted me, are these wings, so 
that being summoned I msy straightway succour 
the devout ones of this hoiy Order in their needs 
and tribulations, and bear their souls and those 
of my brothers, as it were flying, unto the 
heavenly glory: and these claws so great and 
strong and gilded have been given to me against 
the devil, against the persecutors of r^y Religious, 



)n 



3 '4 THE LITTLE FLOWERS OF 
against the reprobate brothers of this holy Order 



//. H«„ Brother Leo saw a ^iiU vision in a 
dream. 

the angels playmg on trumpets and divers instru 

eom; H^°'"''.'"J '"■°""="' 'ome boldly, fear not 
come draw mgh unto the Lord, for He c,n«h 
you. At the voice of S. Francis the kJ^Jk 
came, .nd began to climb up tS^ vermlil I^HH " 
w>th great confidence. V^hen aU h.d .1 Y 
thereon, one fell from the^thW L T'' 

™th.*:::dt"f'',rH'^ °"''"^- "''^^"Hld 

»>xth, and all fell down one after the other ,o 
that none remained upon the ladder. S F™;d° 
bcmg moved to compassion at so great a downftll 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI j.j 

of his brothers, like a pitying father, besought the 
Judge for his httlesons that He might receive 
them into His mercy. And Christ showed His 
wounds all stained with blood, and said to S 
Francis ; " This have thy brothers done unto Me." 
And then as he thus prayed he went down a step 
or two and called to the brothers that had fallen 
from the vermeil ladder and said : "Come, stand 
up, my little sons and brothers ; take courage and 
be not downcast ; run to the white ladder and 
climb up for thereby shall ye be received into 
the kingdom of heaven ; run, brothers, as your 
tather momsheth you, to the white ladder." 

And at the top of the ladder appeared the 
glorious Virgin Mary, the Mother of J«u Christ, 
all pitiful and kind ; and received those brothers 
and without any toil entered they into the realm 
eternal. To the praise of Christ. Amen. 






>■ 

^ 



4.^4' 



THE FAREWELL OF S. FRANCIS AT 
HIS PARTING FROM THE MOUNT 
OF ALVERNIA 

Pax Christi 

companion of S. Frincis of AssUi ^ m " ' 

^ttle brothers and little sons of the ereat P«ri,„K 
Fnmcs, the ensign of Christ.-The V^t plT^ I 
b«mg purposed ?o take a last f,^wfl?^f ^h Xol 
Mount, on the loth of Senf-^kT ' ""'y 

«y the office day ani night : mo^^X^'c^ 



S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 317 

to suffer the said place to be profaned, but held 
ever in respect and reverence, giving his blessing 
to all such as should dwell therein, and to such 
as should hold it in reverence and respect On 
the other hand he said: " Confounded be those 
who shall not show reverence to this place, and 
expect not from God the chastisement they de- 
serve. To me he said: " Know, Brother Masseo, 
that It IS my purpose that in this place there 
abide religious men and from a; .ong the best of 
my Order, that hereby the superiors shall be con- 
strained to set here brothers from among the best. 
Ah ... ah ... ah .. . Brother Masseo, I say 
no more. He commanded and laid upon us 
Brother Angel, Brother Silvester, Brother Ulu- 
minato, and Brother Masseo, that we should have 
special care of the place where happed that great 
marvel of the imprinting of the holy Stigmata. 
This said, he cned : " Unto God,— Farewell, fare- 
well, farewell. Brother Masseo"; then turnine 
himself to Brother Angel: "Farewell, farewell, 
farewell. Brother Angel " ; and likewise to Brother 
Silvester and to Brother Illuminato. "Abide in 
peace, sons most dear; God bless you, sons most 
dear; farewell! I depart from you in body, but 
leave with you my heart. I go with Brother Little 
Sheep of God (Brother Leo), and I go unto S. 
Mary of the Angels, and never shall I here return 
again. I depart— Farewell, farewell, all, farewell. 
O Mount, farewell. Mount Alvemia, farewell 
Mount of Angels, farewell, most beloved, fare- 
well, most beloved. Brother Falcon, I thank 
thee for the love thou hast borne me. Farewell 



3 '8 S. FRANCIS OF ASSISI 

ftrewell, bright rock, whither never more shall I 
come to v.s.t thee. Farewell, O roc™" faAwe 1 
ftrewell, farewell, O rock. th« didst receive me 
withm thy v,tals, while the devil was laugh^" 
scorn, no more shall we see each other, f! rewelT 
S Mary of the Angeis, I commend untS 

mL"'' ""■!• ^l'^'' -^ "^«= Eternal Worf " 
Whileas our dear Father spake these words our 
eyes poured out founts o? tears, and now T 
we''::;LtT:nr'"«';"^'"e '-^ °^ heart", whll 
of s^'chTF^ttr' °^^"' '''^"eh the passing 

bless u"""" '^'^°' '»^« "ritten all, may God 

tald^,f;i!l"™w t^ll'^ ""■°"8'' "^o"" Acuto, 
^^V ^^ ''y '^°"" Arcoppe and Foreato • 
fchte^TJ^T " "L' '°P of themounta" L' 
£.rH '1°'^" ^■•°'" "'<= «s. and kneeled down 
theThehV" !,"""'. "."d "«' fervent in pray^ 
the" wor^;*' "• ^"""8 '' "» '«' f— " ^th 
" Farewell, Mount of God, Holy Mount Mnn. 

px"F:tht"s:/ri-^%-i^; 

"h?r:t;mt^^P--''''>-'H.,l^^^ich' 



PriDltd by Ballaktvnb, Haioon «• Ca 
Edinburfh *• London 



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